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70 percent of doctors say COVID misinformation has negatively impacted patients’ health: poll

The Hill 3/30/2023 Lauren Sforza
© Provided by The Hill

More than 70 percent of physicians surveyed in a new poll said that misinformation has made it harder to treat patients with COVID-19 and ultimately harmed patient health.

In a new poll by the de Beaumont Foundation and Morning Consult, 72 percent of U.S. physicians said that misinformation made it harder to treat COVID-19 patients, while the same number said it has negatively impacted patient outcomes.

More than 80 percent of physicians polled said that there is a problem with misinformation when it comes to both COVID-19 vaccines and COVID-19 treatments. Additionally, 44 percent of physicians said that more than half of the information about COVID-19 that they personally consume is misinformation.

The physicians polled largely agreed on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, with more than 90 percent saying that the vaccines are safe and effective.

The spread of misinformation has plagued COVID-19 vaccines and treatments since they were made available to the public, increasing vaccine hesitancy among many Americans. Many people have instead turned to untested drugs, like ivermectin, to treat COVID-19.

The negative impacts of misinformation does not only impact the treatment of COVID-19 patients, the poll found.

Nearly 80 percent of physicians said there is a somewhat or very large problem of misinformation about weight loss and dietary supplements.

There is also a somewhat or very large problem with misinformation concerning mental health, according to 72 percent of physicians. Non-COVID-19 vaccines also face a problem with misinformation, 67 percent of the physicians said.

And just under half of physicians said there is a problem with misinformation about cancer and diabetes.

The poll was conducted Dec. 9 to 19, 2022, among a sample of 806 U.S. physicians, according to the de Beaumont Foundation and Morning Consult. The poll had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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