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Objectives: Our aim was to investigate the attitudes of physicians in Jordan toward non-disclosure and the differential attitudes of physicians who are “always truthful” and those who are not. Methods: Our report is based on the second subset of data from a cross-sectional study of the truth disclosure practices and attitudes of physicians in Jordan, which was conducted between January and August 2016. We selected 240 physicians from four major hospitals by stratified random sampling, and we invited them to complete a self-administered questionnaire regarding truth disclosure attitudes. We compared the attitudes of physicians who were “always” truthful and those who were not. Results: In total, 164 physicians (68%) completed the questionnaire, of whom 17 (10%) were “always truthful”, while the remaining 144 (90%) were not. Physicians who were “always truthful” were more likely to indicate that non-disclosure is “unethical” (77% v. 39%; p=0.009). Moreover, physicians who were “always truthful” were more likely to disagree that non-disclosure is beneficial for the physical and psychological health of patients (82% v. 55%; p=0.03). The majority of physicians agreed that all patients have the right to know their diagnosis, most patients prefer to know their diagnosis, and the introduction of legislation to enforce disclosure would positively affect medical practice in Jordan. Conclusion: The differential attitudes of physicians who were “always truthful” and those who were “not always truthful” suggest a rationale behind independent non-disclosure, namely that non-disclosure is ethically justifiable and beneficial for the physical and psychological health of patients.
Keywords: Truth Disclosure • Physicians • Attitude • Jordan • Middle East • Cross-Sectional Studies
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