A majority of Americans are lying to their doctors

Have you ever withheld information from your physician that you knew you probably should share?

Well, apparently Americans do so frequently.

“Between 60 and 80 percent of people admit they avoid telling their doctor details that could be relevant to their well-being,” a MedicalXpress article states.

A study conducted by senior researcher Angela Fagerlin, chair of population health sciences at the University of Utah, surveyed 4,150 patients, divided into two separate pools. One pool has an average of 36, the other, 61.

The pool with the average age of 36 “consistently tended to withhold information more often than the older folks, 81 percent and 61 percent, respectively,” the article says.

Fagerlin’s study further revealed that the main thing patients refrain from sharing with their physician is their disagreement with suggested treatment. Approximately 46 per cent of patients in the younger age pool and 31 per cent in the older age pool admitted doing this.

The second biggest thing patients keep from their doctors is their confusion with instructions, occurring with 32 per cent of the younger pool and 24 per cent of the older pool.


“The researchers also asked why patients didn’t tell the whole story, and the No. 1 reason was that they didn’t want the doctor to give them a hard time about their behaviour (82 and 64 per cent),” the article explains.

Other common reasons patients withhold information from their doctor?

  • “I didn’t want to hear how bad a behavior is for me (76 and 61 percent).
  • I was embarrassed to admit something (61 and 50 percent).
  • I didn’t want the provider to think I’m a difficult patient (51 and 38 percent).
  • I didn’t want to take up any more of the provider’s time (45 and 36 percent).
  • I didn’t think it mattered (39 and 33 percent).
  • I didn’t want the provider to think I’m stupid (38 and 31 percent).
  • I didn’t want this information in my medical record (34 and 31 percent).”

I will admit that I, too, have been tempted to keep information from my doctor. Depending on the situation, it may seem easier to simply avoid answering a certain question rather than being honest and facing a potential lecture.

What is crucial to keep in mind is that doctor’s work to help us, and they shouldn’t be left in the dark.

Image from https://visualhunt.com/photo/8830/doctor-holding-test-tube-in-medical-lab/




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