Are You Telling The Truth? Study Says Most Patients Lie To Doctors

November 30, 2018 - 11:41 am

ANN ARBOR (WWJ) - When it comes to talking to doctors, it turns out most patients are not 100 percent honest. 

If your doctor asks how much you drink or if you exercise, do you stretch the truth? If you do, you're not alone.

According to a new study by the University of Michigan, between 60 and 80 percent of people are not honest with their doctors about information that could be relevant to their health. 

Besides fibbing about diet and exercise, more than a third of respondents didn't speak up when they disagreed with their doctor's recommendation. Many also failed to admit they didn't understand their doctor's instructions.

Why not be completely honest? Most people said they wanted to avoid being judged or lectured about how bad certain behaviors were. They also want their doctor to think highly of them. More than half were simply too embarrassed to tell the truth, according to the study.

The trouble with a patient's dishonesty, the study authors say, is that doctors can't offer accurate medical advice when they don't have all the facts. The study says health care clinicians need complete and accurate information about patient behaviors and beliefs to best serve and guide their patients.