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Prosociality in the Social Dilemma of Antibiotic Prescribing

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Version 2 2022-09-08, 09:58
Version 1 2021-09-14, 09:25
journal contribution
posted on 2022-09-08, 09:58 authored by Eva Krockow, Carolyn Tarrant, Andrew Colman
Antibiotic prescribing can be conceptualised as a social dilemma in which the overuse of antibiotics, to minimise immediate risks to individual patients, results in a sub-optimal outcome for society (antimicrobial resistance) and increased risks to all patients in the long run. Doctors face the challenge of balancing the interests of individual patients against the collective good when prescribing antibiotics. While evidence suggests that doctors tend to prioritise individual interests over those of the collective, the conventional interpretation of such decisions as selfish may be inappropriate, because most doctors are motivated by prosocial concerns about their patients. This review of antibiotic decision research provides a more nuanced understanding of prosociality in the context of the social dilemma of antibiotic prescribing.

Funding

Global Challenges Research Fund—Grant No. ES/P004784/1 awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) on behalf of the Research Councils United Kingdom (RCUK).

History

Author affiliation

Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Current Opinion in Psychology

Volume

44

Pagination

164-169

Publisher

Elsevier

issn

2352-250X

Acceptance date

2021-09-06

Copyright date

2021

Language

en

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