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Your Patients May Lie to You, But Why?


Ever wonder if your patient is a "liar, liar, pants on fire"? Take this 5-question quiz on a new survey to find out if your suspicions are true. 

Image: termlife2go.com

Image: termlife2go.com

Do you ever start a day wondering which patients on the schedule might answer one of your questions with a lie? Results of a new survey of 500 people by life insurance brokerage Termlife2go suggest that some of your patients may not be telling you the truth-and the survey responses offer clues as to when and why.

Try these 5 questions on the findings to see if your suspicions are true.


1. Which of the following topics did respondents lie about most?

A. Smoking habits
B. Exercise (or not exercising)
C. Drinking habits
D. Sexual partners

Please click here for answer and next question.

Answer: A. Smoking habits. More people lied about their smoking habits (46%) than about exercise behavior (43%), about alcohol consumption (38%), or about their sexual partners (29%). (click image on right to enlarge)


2. Respondents younger than this age were more likely to lie about smoking while those older than this age lied more often about exercising:

A. 25 years
B. 30 years
C. 35 years
D. 45 years

Please click here for answer and next question.

Answer: C. Age 35 years. Respondents younger than age 35 were more likely to be untruthful about their smoking habits while those older lied about how much exercise they were getting.


3. Women lied to their physicians more than men did about alcohol consumption.

A. True
B. False

Please click here for answer and next question.

Answer: B. False. More men admitted to lying about drinking behavior (50%) than women (32%). On the topic of sexual partners, however, more women were untruthful (33%) than men (21%). (click image on right to enlarge)


4. About 75% of survey respondents say they have been less than honest with their physician to avoid embarrassment. Which of the following were reasons offered by the other 25%?

A. Fear of not being taken seriously by the physician if they tell the truth
B. To avoid discrimination
C. To avoid an out-and-out lecture from the doctor
D. To avoid exposing a truth to a parent/spouse also in the exam room
E. A and C
F. All of the above

Please click here for answer and next question.

Answer: F. All of the above. Nearly one-third (31%) said they have lied to avoid discrimination; 22% said they felt the doctor wouldn’t take them seriously, so they lied; one respondent did say he lied about his drinking to avoid listening to an exam room lecture; and, one women chose not to expose her sexual activity to the doctor because her mother was with her.


5. The majority of those respondents who lied to avoid discrimination were:

A. Men
B. Women

Please click here for answer.

Answer: B. Women. More than three-quarters (80%) of respondents who were concerned about discrimination if they told the truth were women, and 20% were men.

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