Most patients don't disclose relevant information to clinicians, study finds

Anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of patients don't share relevant health information with their clinicians, a study published in JAMA Network Open found.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, used an online survey to look at how often patients declined to disclose relevant information to their clinicians.

The survey asked patients to share the aspects of their lives they failed to tell the truth about, such as exercise habits and whether they take their prescriptions correctly. The main reason patients withheld information was a fear of being judged by their clinicians, the study found.

"There's certainly part of [this finding] that's internal," Brian Zikmund-Fisher, PhD, who led the study, told The Michigan Daily. "[Patients] didn't want to take up more of their healthcare provider's time, they didn't want their healthcare providers to think they're stupid [and] they didn't want this information to be in their record."

Younger adults were about 20 percent more likely to lie to providers than older patients, the study found. Specifically, younger female participants with worse self-rated health were more likely to withhold information.

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