Dorothee Rauber

PhD Candidate, Member of PIDI Lab

PSYCHOLOGICAL DETERMINANTS OF ANTIBIOTIC USE

Due to the excessive and incorrect use of antibiotics in humans and animals, antibiotic resistance became one of today’s greatest challenges to global public health. In my research I want to investigate the behavioral aspects of antibiotic use in doctor-patient settings. Antibiotics are heavily overprescribed by doctors, particularly in the case of colds and flu where they are ineffective. Studies indicate that doctor-patient misunderstandings lead to these unnecessary prescriptions. Moreover, the misunderstandings are caused by different expectations from doctors and patients considering the role of antibiotics and the reasons for their prescription. My work focuses on the decision situation of the patient by investigating the underlying psychological determinants of the patient’s decision making process – taking vs. not taking antibiotics. In particular, I am interested in how patients asses these options and what factors influence their assessment. Understanding how individual concepts of illness as well as knowledge about antibiotics resistance relate to the decision of taking antibiotics is important to find ways to approach prudent use of antibiotics.

Other projects and interests:
I am a member of GENIA, an interdisciplinary health research network at University of Erfurt. Here, I am interested in investigating how health behavior can be positively influenced or “nudged”. Furthermore, I am responsible for the GENIA Website and the organization of GENIA events. In this regard we are currently organizing a Nudging gallery at the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften (Science Night) where Nudging can be explored with different experiments and demonstrations. Besides that I am working in the project of revising the online MMR-decision aid with the Federal Center for Health Education (Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung, BZgA).