Patient Knowledge and Antibiotic Abuse: Evidence from an Audit Study in China

54 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2010 Last revised: 14 May 2023

See all articles by Janet Currie

Janet Currie

Princeton University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Wanchuan Lin

Peking University - Guanghua School of Management

Wei Zhang

China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)

Date Written: December 2010

Abstract

We ask how patient knowledge of appropriate antibiotic usage affects both physicians prescribing behavior and the physician-patient relationship. We conduct an audit study in which a pair of simulated patients with identical flu-like complaints visits the same physician. Simulated patient A is instructed to ask a question that showcases his/her knowledge of appropriate antibiotic use, whereas patient B is instructed to say nothing beyond describing his/her symptoms. We find that a patient's knowledge of appropriate antibiotics use reduces both antibiotic prescription rates and drug expenditures. Such knowledge also increases physicians' information provision about possible side effects, but has a negative impact on the quality of the physician-patient interactions.

Suggested Citation

Currie, Janet and Lin, Wanchuan and Zhang, Wei, Patient Knowledge and Antibiotic Abuse: Evidence from an Audit Study in China (December 2010). NBER Working Paper No. w16602, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1723049

Janet Currie (Contact Author)

Princeton University ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States
6092587393 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.princeton.edu/~jcurrie

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Wanchuan Lin

Peking University - Guanghua School of Management ( email )

Peking University
Beijing, Beijing 100871
China

Wei Zhang

China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) ( email )

Shanghai-Hongfeng Road
Shanghai 201206
Shanghai 201206
China

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