50% patients hide information from doctors: Study

The University of Southern California conducted a study on this, where 2000 people were interviewed over the phone. If the survey is to be believed, as many as 50 percent people provided wrong information to the doctors.


Whenever you visit your family physician or a doctor at a hospital, the very first question he/she asks, Tell me what happened? Since when this is happening? Have you had anything outside? How are you feeling? Please tell me everything.

He/she puts a questionnaire in front of you to understand what exactly you are suffering from. On the basis of those questions and the medical check-ups, he diagnose the disease or the problem. But, do we share all the information with the doctor? Sometimes, the answer is ‘No!’ Fearing that the doctor would give an injection or heavy medicines, people tend to hide the information from the doctor.

The University of Southern California conducted a study on this, where 2,000 people were interviewed over the phone. And the findings were really shocking. If the survey is to be believed, as many as 50 per cent people provided wrong information or misguided information to the doctors.

According to the doctors, these are things which patient frequently hide from them 

  • Smoking and drinking habits.
  • Sexual diseases.
  • Wrong habits.
  • Information about home remedies which they have tried.
  • Consuming cough syrup without doctor’s advice.
  • Popping antibiotics.
  • A mother not breastfeeding her child, fearing that the doctor would scold her
  • Quitting the course of medications to be taken for an ailment midway

Doctors say the patients, nowadays,  google about their disease and start self-medication, which can prove to be harmful.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Kanan Yelikar, Dean of Ghati Hospital from Aurangabad said, “Normally patients do not hide any information, but, patients who are suffering from diseases like TB, AIDS, cancer, hide information fearing – ‘what others would say’. Rather than keeping it secret, they should speak openly to the doctors, as not sharing information can only cause more harm to them.”

Dr Yelikar further added, “Doctors should also build trust with the patients, they should chat with the patient so that they can get even a smallest bit of information which will benefit the patient during the treatment.”

While Dr Sagar Karia, a psychiatrist attached with Sion Hospital, Mumbai, said, “If a doctor has a patient’s case history with him, the treatment becomes smooth. If the patient does not take the medicine, then ultimately he/she is the one who suffers. That is why patients should not hide any information from the doctor.”