A patient’s full disclosure of medically relevant information to their clinician is essential to ensuring all-encompassing health support, developing successful treatment strategies and guaranteeing optimal outcomes. This is especially true in cases of imminent threat, which range from drug and substance abuse habits to domestic violence incidents. Previous research has revealed that patients often choose not to share details about certain behaviors, such as lack of exercise or poor diet, in fear of being judged or reprimanded. However, relatively little knowledge was available thus far about the disclosure rates for life-threatening factors.
While it is essential for primary care providers to be aware of all details affecting patient health, a recent study indicates that nearly half of patients withhold potentially life-threatening information from their physicians. Aiming to determine the prevalence of patient nondisclosure about imminent threats and identify the common underlying reasons, researchers evaluated data from 4,510 Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) and Survey Sampling International (SSI) survey respondents.