Patient pressure to prescribe antibiotics often works, study says

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  • An experimental study from the United Kingdom finds that physicians are more likely to prescribe antibiotics when the patient is expecting it, even if they think there is a low probability of bacterial infection. 

Why this matters

  • The study, published in Health Psychology, presented a questionnaire to a total of 436 family physicians describing various patient vignettes in which they are presented with a 15-y-old girl with a typical ear infection accompanied by fever, ear pain, and reduced hearing, but otherwise healthy.
  • In 1 vignette, the mother insists the physician help the girl recover quickly because of a swim meet coming up in 4 d, whereas in another vignette, there is no exp...