SIDEBAR: The Anonymity Advantage

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This study has the advantage of not only being patient-reported but also of patient anonymity; the questionnaires were not administered or discussed with the patients by any of the treating physicians,” the study authors reported.

“I know that patients often want to please their doctor. They don’t want to say something that is going to get their doctor upset,” lead investigator Juanita Mary Crook, MD, explained. “If patients are reporting to you face to face, they may minimize symptoms or dissatisfaction simply because they are a little bit dependent on you for their ongoing care. If patients report anonymously, I think they are more likely to be honest and say exactly how things are affecting them.” ■

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