Talk about antibiotics with patients

THE CARDIFF School of Medicine explored these expectations with 20 GPs. They were interviewed about their management of consultations for respiratory infections. Many GPs said the consultations had the potential for conflict. While the GPs did not wish to prescribe antibiotics, they assumed the patients wanted them. GPs were reluctant to ask patients what they wanted, preferring to explore the patients’ expectations indirectly, thus avoiding confrontation.

Most GPs used a running commentary to try to modify the patients’ expectations. Some patients