Peers, policy, and attitudes as drivers of antibiotic prescribing
In this study we investigated how treatment norms about antibiotic use affect a doctor´s decision to prescribe antibiotics. We also investigated the attitudes and behavior of the same physicians as private persons. We find that compared with ordinary citizens, physicians are more worried and more well-informed about antibiotic resistance and use, yet they consume more antibiotics and are less willing to limit their personal use of antibiotics. There is a strong correlation between a doctor´s decision not to prescribe and the treatment norms, i.e., the perception of the common choice among physicians considering antibiotics prescription and the guidelines of antibiotics use. We also find a strong connection between professional and private attitudes: Although physicians themselves on average use more antibiotics than the general public, those who are willing to abstain from using antibiotics as a private person are also more willing not to prescribe antibiotics to their patients.
University of Gothenburg
JEL-code: I11; I18
Working Papers in Economics