Journal Article

Disclosure of medical errors: what factors influence how patients respond?

Mazor KM, Reed GW, Yood RA, Fischer MA, Baril J, Gurwitz JH. Journal of general internal medicine. 2006;21:704-10.

This study concluded that full disclosure either has a positive effect or no effect on the way patients respond to medical errors. Investigators asked more than 400 patients to watch video scenarios and self-report on whether they would change physicians or seek legal advice if in those situations themselves. Participants also described their emotions and satisfaction levels, which varied depending on the clinical outcome presented, but findings supported the notion that nondisclosure has a negative impact on both. Overall, this study adds to the existing literature that advocates for full disclosure, supporting the argument that it fails to increase the risk of negative consequences for physicians. These researchers have previously discussed the teaching of medical errors, the factors influencing preceptors' responses to medical errors, and the factors that influence how students and residents learn from errors.