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Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2005 Aug 11;125(15):1994-7.

[Patients' expectations of antibiotics for acute respiratory tract infections].

[Article in Norwegian]

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Institutt for allmenn- og samfunnsmedisin, Postboks 1130 Blindern, Universitetet i Oslo, 0318 Oslo.



We wanted to examine patients' expectations for antibiotics when presenting with symptoms of ARTI, and also to see whether there were any differences in this respect between Norwegians and immigrants. In addition we wanted to find out whether doctors perceived these expectations and whether it influenced their prescribing.


Questionnaire survey at the Oslo emergency service; 180 patients with symptoms of ARTI and 27 doctors participated. The patients were divided into a Nordic and a non-Nordic group.


Among the patients, 38% expected antibiotics. There were no significant differences between the Nordic and the non-Nordic group. Patients who reported they were very/quite ill wanted antibiotics more often than those who reported they were quite well. Age above 30 was also associated with expectation of antibiotics. The doctors perceived the expectations of 41% of the patients who wanted antibiotics and of 69% of those who didn't. When the doctor thought patients wanted antibiotics, 56% of them got a prescription.


Less than half of the patients with symptoms of ARTI wanted antibiotics. There were no differences between Norwegians and immigrants. The doctors were better at perceiving negative expectations for antibiotics. We have reason to believe that doctors' perceptions of patient expectations influence their prescribing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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