………A study conducted by the University of Utah Health found that an alarming amount of U.S. patients do not tell their physicians the whole truth and may hide information from their physicians about risks that are potentially life threatening. Results showed that up to 47.5% of respondents chose not to tell the whole truth to their doctor when it involved at least one of four health threats – domestic violence, sexual assault, depression, and suicide. Though these seem like urgent issues that require full cooperation in order for a patient to receive the right kind of help, it has not equated in people being more forthcoming with vital information doctors need. Following are the three main possibilities why patients may decide to keep secrets from you:
- Fear of Judgement – This is, by far, the most common reason for patients deciding to withhold information from doctors. Over 70% of the study’s respondents indicated that the reason they kept secrets was because of the fear of being embarrassed, judged, or being scolded about it – especially when dealing with the four health threats mentioned above. Furthermore, a survey of pregnant women indicated that nearly 35% of those that underwent a urinalysis test turned out positive for tobacco despite having denied smoking, suggesting an increased chance of a patient to lie when there is a social stigma attached to their actions.
- Fear of Doctor’s Disapproval – Another reason for patients keeping secrets is the fear of their doctor becoming disappointed, angry, or disapproving of a certain lifestyle or activity that may be detrimental to their health. Sometimes doctors can come across as intimidating, which may discourage some people from sharing the whole truth – and while some doctors have tried to address this by making their offices as friendly and relaxing as possible, something as little as a raised eyebrow or sharp look may make it seem otherwise.
- Denial – Sometimes it can be difficult dealing with reality, especially when it comes to a patient’s health. Some patients deal with this by blocking reality out and pretending to be okay instead of dealing with things directly by getting treatment as early as possible. Needless to say, a patient in denial is a person that is behaving in a way that can be damaging to their own health.
……Another reason for patients to hide certain kinds of information from doctors is because they intend to deceive insurance providers in order to qualify for coverage, and if nobody else knows the truth then there will be no one to report it. Whatever the reason is, it is in the patient’s best interest to share the whole truth with their doctors if they expect to receive the best chances of being treated correctly and in a timely manner. Doctors may encourage patients to be truthful by informing them of this fact, along with a guarantee that sensitive information will remain strictly between doctor and patient only.
Physicians live a life filled with daily pressure and stress. Good thing TukkoMed is here to alleviate the burden. Contact us today and find out what we can do for you!