Optimal Control of Antibiotic Usage: Managing Patients' Expectation and Doctors' Prescribing Behavior

Project: Research

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The overuse (or abuse) of antibiotics often leads to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. This is one of the largest public health challenges faced by our society. Governments and organizations around the world have called for the prudent use of antibiotics. Rules andguidelines have been set up for the use of antibiotics. Yet, antibiotic abuse is still commonly observed in many countries and regions. The underlying driving forces for this phenomenon include the patients' preference towards antibiotics and the financialincentives associated with health practitioners. Some patients merely wish to be treated with antibiotics to recover faster without considering the antibiotic resistance incurred in the future, and health practitioners are often paid each time they dispense anantibiotic. To treasure the antibiotics resources, it is important to find the optimal usage of it over the time. Past studies mainly consider it as a first-best control problem, without taking patients' preference and doctors' financial incentives into consideration. In this project, we plan to investigate the optimal control of the antibiotic usage with a consideration of both patients' and doctors' behavior issues. In our preliminary studies, we have tried to set up susceptible–infected–susceptible (SIS) infectious disease models to characterize the dynamics of the development of antibiotic resistance in a population. We also proposed a way to calculate patients' perceived utility when they recognize side effects of antibiotic usage. Successful completion of this project will offer insightful suggestions to policy makers on how to best control the usage of antibiotics over time.


Project number9043425
Grant typeGRF
StatusNot started
Effective start/end date1/01/23 → …