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Prescribing costs in general practice
Influence of attitudes and behaviour of GPs on prescribing costs
  1. J Szecsenyi
  1. J Szecsenyi, Department of General Practice and Health Services Research, Medical Hospital and Polyclinic, University of Heidelberg, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany;

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    The relationship between the attitudes of health professionals and their behaviour is complex. How can it be changed?

    Rising prescribing costs are a major concern in modern healthcare systems worldwide. Wherever costs are analysed and combined with any kind of quality measures, large variations between practices can be seen which cannot be explained fully by the underlying morbidity of the patients treated in these practices. For this reason, the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of doctors themselves has become the focus of research.

    Since the early work of Parish1 we have known that prescribing has an irrational as well as a rational basis. Balint et al2 showed that writing a prescription is an easy way of cutting the consultation time …

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