Faculty Scholarship 1994 - Present

Debiasing Effects of Education about Appropriate Antibiotic Use on Consumers' Preferences for Physicians

A major goal of this research was to identify an antibiotic education intervention that would increase young adult consumers preference for physicians who do not unnecessarily prescribe antibiotics for simple acute upper respiratory infections (URIs). Results clearly showed that consumers who read the CDC brochure entitled, A New Treat to Your Health: Antibiotic Resistance significantly preferred the physician who would not prescribe antibiotics for a URI on Day 3. They also inferred that this physician had significantly greater ability than the physician who would prescribe antibiotics. In contrast, consumers who did not read the CDC brochure significantly preferred the physician who would prescribe antibiotics for a URI on Day 3. They also inferred that this physician had significantly greater ability and greater concern for patients than the physician who would not prescribe antibiotics. Thus, consumers with low knowledge exhibited a treatment bias and preferred physicians who provided more treatment, and consumer education successfully reversed the treatment bias.