Shame stops patients disclosing health threats
Sheer embarrassment prevents many patients from telling their doctor about serious threats such as abuse or suicidality, a study shows.
Among 4500 adults in two surveys of non-disclosure, more than a quarter failed to tell their clinician — including doctors, nurses or physician assistants — that they had been sexually assaulted, abused, were depressed or had suicidal thoughts.
Abuse was the most commonly withheld ‘imminent threat’.
Embarrassment was the reason given for more than 70% of all non-disclosures, followed by