Up to 81% of patients don’t level with their doctors

It may seem harmless to not be entirely forthcoming with your doctor, but the health consequences could be huge. A recent study conducted by researchers from Middlesex Community College and the University of Utah found the main reason why patients don’t accurately tell doctors about their eating habits and other behaviors is to avoid being judged unfavorably.

Researchers presented seven common scenarios between patients and doctors. Up to 81 percent of people who took that survey admitted they avoided telling their healthcare provider the truth in at least one of them.

Larry Mauksch, emeritus clinical professor of family medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine, offers suggestions on how clinicians can encourage honesty. The lesson here for healthcare providers, he says, is to be curious and ask questions.

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