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Doctors Often Write Rx for Antibiotics If Patients Expect It

Doctors Often Write Rx for Antibiotics If Patients Expect It
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FRIDAY, Feb. 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Doctors are more likely to prescribe antibiotics if they think patients expect the medications, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in Health Psychology.

The study included 436 doctors in the United Kingdom. The researchers conducted two experiments and presented physicians with different scenarios where they had to decide if they would prescribe antibiotics.

The researchers found that physicians were more likely to prescribe antibiotics if patients had high expectations of receiving the medications. This was true even if the doctor didn’t think the patient had a bacterial infection.

“Much effort has been spent encouraging physicians to adhere to clinical guidelines when prescribing antibiotics. However, with few notable exceptions, these efforts rarely address the non-clinical factors, such as how to tackle patients’ expectations,” study author Miroslav Sirota, Ph.D., of the University of Essex in Colchester, U.K., said in a journal news release.

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1 Comment

  1. It appears that we have reached a point in time when Medicare and Insurance companies are requesting feed-back from patients pertaining to the quality of care that they are receiving from their physician. If the doctor thinks the patient’s illness is caused by a virus and an antibiotic is not indicated and the patient thinks otherwise, it is unlikely that the patient is going to give the doctor high marks on the patient satisfaction score. If the doctor feels intimidated, on the other hand, he or she will prescribe an antibiotic and get a good review from the patient. It is a catch-22.

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