The Responses of Medical General Practitioners to Unreasonable Patient Demand for Antibiotics - A Study of Medical Ethics Using Immersive Virtual Reality

Pan X, Slater M, Beacco A, Navarro X, Bellido Rivas AI, Swapp D, et al. (2016) The Responses of Medical General Practitioners to Unreasonable Patient Demand for Antibiotics - A Study of Medical Ethics Using Immersive Virtual Reality. PLoS ONE 11(2): e0146837. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.014

93 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2018

See all articles by Xueni Pan

Xueni Pan

University of London - Goldsmiths College

Mel Slater

University of Barcelona - Event Lab; Catalan Institution of Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA); University College London - Department of Computer Science

Alejandro Beacco

University of Barcelona - Faculty of Psychology

Xavi Navarro

University of Barcelona - Event Lab

David Swapp

University College London - Department of Computer Science

Joanna Hale

University College London - Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience

Paul Alexander George Forbes

University College London - Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience

Catrina Denvir

University College London

Antonia F de C Hamilton

University College London - Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience

Sylvie Delacroix

University of Birmingham - Birmingham Law School; Alan Turing Institute - Alan Turing Institute

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

Dealing with insistent patient demand for antibiotics is an all too common part of a General Practitioner’s daily routine. This study explores the extent to which portable Immersive Virtual Reality technology can help us gain an accurate understanding of the factors that influence a doctor’s response to the ethical challenge underlying such tenacious requests for antibiotics (given the threat posed by growing anti-bacterial resistance worldwide). It also considers the potential of such technology to train doctors to face such dilemmas.

Twelve experienced GPs and nine trainees were confronted with an increasingly angry demand by a woman to prescribe antibiotics to her mother in the face of inconclusive evidence that such antibiotic prescription is necessary. The daughter and mother were virtual characters displayed in immersive virtual reality. The specific purposes of the study were twofold: first, to investigate whether medical doctors would take the virtual situation seriously, and second, whether experienced GPs would be more resistant to patient demands than the trainees.

Eight out of the 9 trainees prescribed the antibiotics, whereas 7 out of the 12 GPs did so. On the basis of a Bayesian analysis, these results yield reasonable statistical evidence in favor of the notion that experienced GPs are more likely to withstand the pressure to prescribe antibiotics than trainee doctors, thus answering our second question positively. As for the former question, a post experience questionnaire assessing the participants’ level of presence (together with participants’ feedback and body language) suggested that overall participants did tend towards the illusion of being in the consultation room depicted in the virtual reality and that the virtual consultation taking place was really happening.

Keywords: Antibiotics, Medical doctors, Trainees, Virtual reality, Antibiotic resistance, Personality, Questionnaires, Psychological stress

Suggested Citation

Pan, Xueni and Slater, Mel and Beacco, Alejandro and Navarro, Xavi and Swapp, David and Hale, Joanna and Forbes, Paul Alexander George and Denvir, Catrina and F de C Hamilton, Antonia and Delacroix, Sylvie, The Responses of Medical General Practitioners to Unreasonable Patient Demand for Antibiotics - A Study of Medical Ethics Using Immersive Virtual Reality (2016). Pan X, Slater M, Beacco A, Navarro X, Bellido Rivas AI, Swapp D, et al. (2016) The Responses of Medical General Practitioners to Unreasonable Patient Demand for Antibiotics - A Study of Medical Ethics Using Immersive Virtual Reality. PLoS ONE 11(2): e0146837. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3263991

Xueni Pan

University of London - Goldsmiths College ( email )

Lewisham Way
New Cross, SE14 6NW
United Kingdom

Mel Slater

University of Barcelona - Event Lab ( email )

Spain

Catalan Institution of Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) ( email )

Barcelona, 08010
Spain

University College London - Department of Computer Science ( email )

Malet Place
London, England WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Alejandro Beacco

University of Barcelona - Faculty of Psychology ( email )

Barcelona
Spain

Xavi Navarro

University of Barcelona - Event Lab ( email )

Spain

David Swapp

University College London - Department of Computer Science ( email )

Malet Place
London, England WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Joanna Hale

University College London - Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience ( email )

17 Queen Square
London WC1N 3AR
United Kingdom

Paul Alexander George Forbes

University College London - Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience ( email )

17 Queen Square
London WC1N 3AR
United Kingdom

Catrina Denvir

University College London ( email )

Gower St
London WC1E OEG, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Antonia F de C Hamilton

University College London - Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience ( email )

17 Queen Square
London WC1N 3AR
United Kingdom

Sylvie Delacroix (Contact Author)

University of Birmingham - Birmingham Law School ( email )

Edgbaston
Birmingham, AL B15 2TT
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/profiles/law/delacroix-sylvie.aspx

Alan Turing Institute - Alan Turing Institute ( email )

96 Euston Road
London, NW1 2DB
United Kingdom

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
6
Abstract Views
55
PlumX Metrics