Patients lie to their doctors for the fear of being judged, shamed, admonished and so on, the point being, like Gregory House from House said, "Everybody lies". So, if you are one among those who tend to nudge the truth about your exercise routine or diet, then it looks like you have company. A new research shows patients lying to their doctors is very common.
“Most people want their doctors to think highly of them,” said the study’s senior author Angela Fagerlin from University of Utah in the US.
“They’re worried about being pigeonholed as someone who doesn’t make good decisions,” she added.
This study about the patient-doctor relationship came about when an online survey by JAMA Network Open was conducted on two groups of people. The first survey recorded the responses of 2,011 participants aged between 36 years old. While the second survey had participants aged in between 60s.
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The result showed that in both the surveys, people who identified themselves as the younger female, self-reporting on their poor health were more likely to disclose medically relevant information to their clinician.
This trouble about not being upfront with their doctors is proving to be a challenge for the doctors as they cannot offer accurate medical advice when facts are withheld.
“If patients are withholding information about what they’re eating, or whether they are taking their medication, it can have significant implications for their health. Especially if they have a chronic illness,” said the study’s first author Andrea Gurmankin Levy, Associate Professor at Middlesex Community College in Middletown, Connecticut, US.
Apart from the younger females, 60 to 80 per cent of the people also showed that patients were not forthcoming with their doctors about information that could be relevant to their health.
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The survey also showed that more than a third of respondents did not speak up when they disagreed with their doctor’s recommendation. While another scenario showed patients not admitting to the fact that they did not understand their clinician’s instructions.