Why Aren't They Telling Their Doctors Video Transcript

Important Conversations: Talking with Patients about Complementary Therapies
Part VI: Why Aren't They Telling Their Doctors
Time: 3:32

So... we know that patients are using CAM...and we know that in some cases it's very important to them...and we know that in many respects, these are patients who care a great deal about their health care. So why aren't they telling their physicians?

L. Cohen, PhD:
In a survey done by David Eisenberg's group, they found that the #1 and #2 reasons that patients didn't tell physicians is because the physician didn't ask, or because they didn't think it was important for the physician to know...

E. Singletary, MD:
Most patients do not tell their doctors they're taking complementary medicine, because they don't see it as a real medicine. Because it's over-the- counter, and that could be a mistake, because we know some over-the-counter medications can interact with other products such as chemotherapy.

N. Lowenstein, MS, RD, LD, CNSD:
There are a few patients that are afraid to tell their physicians what they're taking for fear that the physician will take them off of it. And if they feel very strongly about a particular herb or vitamin or mineral that they're taking, they may not disclose that. But I think if patients knew that these supplements can actually be harmful during their therapy or maybe counterproductive to the therapy they've come to receive, they would be a little bit more likely to tell them.

Dr. Engebretson, DrPH:
I think what happens is a lot of times the provider says there's no way this is going to cure this disease... they no logical mechanism by which that would cure the disease, and I think the big message to providers is that lots of times people are not just seeking these things for a cure for their disease.