Communicating Antibiotic Stewardship: Emotional Responses and Their Impact on Adherence

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2 Scopus citations


Although watchful watching has been recommended as a means of reducing unnecessary use of antibiotics, nonadherence has frequently been observed. Drawing from appraisal theories of emotion, this study (n = 579) examined (a) the factors that shape pediatric caregivers’ emotional experiences in the medical contexts and (b) the influence of emotions on (non)adherence behavioral intentions. Caregivers reported more intense negative emotions and less intense positive emotions following watchful waiting advice versus receiving an antibiotic prescription. The differences were mostly driven by false beliefs about antibiotics’ effectiveness. Emotional responses predicted intentions to adhere to watchful waiting advice (e.g., counterargue and seek another healthcare provider), with anger being the most consistent determinant of these outcomes. Improving antibiotic stewardship can be achieved by educational efforts to correct false beliefs and by training healthcare providers to manage caregiver emotions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)861-871
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Communication
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 6 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication


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