How Does Cognitive Bias Affect Conversations With Patients About Dietary Supplements?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many patients use dietary supplements but do not inform their clinicians. Some allopathic clinicians' conscious and unconscious cognitive and emotional biases against complementary and alternative medicine can affect whether patients disclose details about dietary supplement use, the quality of communication during clinical encounters, and the information clinicians draw upon to make decisions and recommendations. This article describes 6 cognitive biases that can influence patient-clinician communication and shared decision making about dietary supplements and suggests 6 ways to mitigate biases' negative effects on patient-clinician relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E368-E375
JournalAMA Journal of Ethics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022

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Copyright © 2022 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.

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  • Journal Article


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