• Review
  • Published September 2006

An empirically derived taxonomy of factors affecting physicians' willingness to disclose medical errors.

Although physicians generally support disclosing medical errors to patients, prior research has demonstrated that physicians are often reluctant to do so. In this study, researchers reviewed the medical literature on error disclosure and conducted focus groups to identify and categorize factors that facilitate or impede error disclosure by physicians. The authors were able to identify four facilitating factors, which primarily centered on physicians' sense of responsibility to their patients and colleagues, and four impeding factors, most of which pertained to cultural barriers to error disclosure. Use of this framework, according to the authors, can help promote error disclosure by emphasizing the facilitating factors and structuring interventions to address impeding factors.

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