A UCLA pediatrician won a $240,000 grant to study the growing trend of parents pressuring doctors to prescribe medicine their children don't need, the university announced Wednesday.
Rita Mangione-Smith, who completed a pilot study on the issue, will use the money to observe and analyze how parents influence the way doctors prescribe antibiotics. She plans to install video cameras and tape recorders in doctors' offices to monitor parent-physician interaction.
"We know that a physician can feel pressured to oversubscribe and give parents what they think the parents want, but a lot of time the doctors actually end up doing what the parents don't want--making their child worse," said Mangione-Smith, who lives in Valley Village.
The grant money comes from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a health care organization based in Princeton, N.J. Over-prescribing medicine, especially antibiotics, is a concern among doctors because it can lead to more dangerous forms of disease, Mangione-Smith said.