Do You Tell Your Doctor the Truth?

Most people lie to their doctors, according to a new study

(RxWiki News) If you don't give an honest answer when your doctor asks you how much you exercise, you're not alone. Many people don't tell the truth to their doctors, according to a new study.

Unfortunately, withholding or misrepresenting information to your doctor hinders his or her ability to give you optimal care. Still, 60 to 80 percent of people surveyed in this new study said they had stretched the truth or withheld information with their doctors before.

Why not tell your health care provider the truth about your habits? Most people in this survey said they were trying to avoid a lecture or being judged. Some said they were simply embarrassed.

This study consisted of two surveys that included more than 4,500 respondents. Although withholding medically relevant information was relatively common among all of the participants, those who identified as being in poor health, younger and female were more likely to say that they had withheld information from their doctors before.

The problem with fibbing about your habits or health when talking to your doctor is that your doctor needs to know the whole story to be able to offer accurate medical information and recommendations. Without the truth to rely on, your health care provider could accidentally make a decision that could harm you.

Doctors and other health care providers are there to help their patients. Although it's natural for people to want others to think highly of them, health care professionals know that people aren't perfect. And they want to offer medical advice that actually helps.

The authors of this study said the fault may not lie entirely with patients. They said they hoped clinicians can find a way to communicate with patients that makes them more comfortable opening up.

An honest, open line of communication with your health care provider is essential to your health. Always bring up any questions, concerns or relevant health information with your health care providers.

This study was published in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Faculty research funds supported this research. Study authors disclosed ties to pharmaceutical and health insurance companies outside of the submitted study.

Written By Digital Pharmacist Staff