Doctors Are Highly Trusted Sources of Health Information Amidst a Sea of Misinformation

August 29, 2023

While the COVID-19 pandemic has waned, the amount of health misinformation about treatments and vaccines remains prominent among some people, according to a new poll.
The KFF Health Misinformation Tracking Poll Pilot shows the broad reach of misinformation about a variety of public health topics including COVID-19, reproductive health and gun violence. There seems to be confusion among certain people about what’s true and who is telling the truth. The results come from a representative sample of more than 2,000 English and Spanish-speaking U.S. adults across age, race, political party, and education-achieved spectrums.

Doctors are the most trusted source for health information for the overwhelming majority of respondents. Nearly all the respondents (93%) in the survey said they trusted their doctors at least a fair amount, while 48% of those had a great deal of trust in the recommendations from their doctors. Few place as much trust in traditional sources of communication, such as the news media or official institutions, to convey information about health topics.

To be that trusted source to support your patients along their healthcare journey, it’s not only what you say, but how you say it. ISMIE’s resource on patient communication provides helpful tips on interacting both verbally and nonverbally. Clear communication is key to safe care and a positive experience for patients and physicians.
For more information, please contact the Risk Management Division by email.
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