A knowledge gradient exists between experts in a given field and consumers of that knowledge. When the need arises, not knowing the best path, an average individual typically relies on the advice of an expert. Given the steep knowledge gradient between patient and provider, clinicians play an essential role in the clinical setting, acting as both a health leader and a health facilitator; however, this asymmetric information implies that clinical providers face an acute pressure not only to advise but to advise correctly. This paper explores the importance of physician advice within the context of smoking cessation, addressing two specific research questions: (1) among current smokers, do patients have a higher probability of any quit attempts in the last twelve months if a physician advised them to quit over the same period? and, (2) among current smokers who were advised to quit, do patients have a higher probability of any quit attempts in the past twelve months based, at least in part, on the specific quitting strategy suggested by the physician? The results suggest that physicians play a crucial role in promoting smoking cessation efforts. The findings further highlight a significant association between the advised cessation strategy and any quit attempts, although the direction of this relationship varies by the cessation strategy suggested.
Courtney Keeler. Clinical Leadership and Asymmetric Information: The Impact of Physician Advice on Smoking Cessation. Open Journal of Leadership, 2014, 3, 7-19. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ojl.2014.32002