Comparison of disclosure/concealment of medical information given to conversational agents or to physicians

Abstract

Within the anamnesis, medical information is frequently withheld, incomplete, or incorrect, potentially causing negative consequences for the patient. The use of conversational agents (CAs), computer-based systems using natural language to interact with humans, may mitigate this problem. The present research examines whether CAs differ from physicians in their ability to elicit truthful disclosure and discourage concealment of medical information. We conducted an online questionnaire with German participants (N = 148) to assess their willingness to reveal medical information. The results indicate that patients would rather disclose medical information to a physician than to a CA; there was no difference in the tendency to conceal information. This research offers a frame of reference for future research on applying CAs during the anamnesis to support physicians. From a practical view, physicians might gain better understanding of how the use of CAs can facilitate the anamnesis.

Publication
Health Informatics Journal