Survey: Nearly Half of Americans Report Feeling Anxious Before a Doctor’s Appointment

2023 PatientPoint Patient Confidence Index reveals Americans more anxious than last year, continue to crave education on conditions, symptoms and treatment

CINCINNATI , Sept. 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — PatientPoint’s 2023 Patient Confidence Index reveals that nearly half (48%) of Americans report feeling anxious before a doctor’s appointment—up nearly 10 percent from 2022 (39%). Looking into the reasons for this feeling, the annual PatientPoint-commissioned survey of 2,000 nationally representative Americans conducted by OnePoll uncovered that more Americans feel they do not have enough information to help them prepare for doctor’s visits year over year (48% in 2023 vs. 38% in 2022).

Anxiety about what awaits at the doctor’s visit was also a key reason why four in 10 Americans responding to the national PatientPoint survey said that they put off seeing their healthcare provider. Top reasons for avoiding a doctor’s visit according to survey respondents included being potentially unable to afford their care (52%), anxiety about potential procedures or tests (40%) and fear of receiving bad news or a serious diagnosis (39%).

The 2023 PatientPoint Patient Confidence Index also explored Americans’ thoughts, feelings, wants and needs about the doctor’s visit through the lens of race and ethnicity. Asian Americans surveyed were much more likely than white respondents to feel confused (36% vs. 20%), overwhelmed (37% vs. 19%) or intimidated (30% vs. 16%) before a doctor’s appointment. An additional survey of 275 Hispanic/Latino Americans found Hispanic/Latino Americans were much more likely than white respondents to feel anxious (63% vs. 48%), stressed (47% vs. 22%) or overwhelmed (34% vs. 19%) before visiting the doctor.

In addition, Black (63%) and Asian Americans (67%) polled were more likely to say they did not have enough information to prepare for their appointment, compared to white respondents (44%). Hispanic/Latino Americans were also nearly twice as likely to be concerned about what they might find out at their doctor’s appointment (50%), compared to white respondents (27%).

While Americans are feeling more anxious before appointments, fewer Americans (33%) said they “always” or “often” leave doctor’s appointments confused, down from 48 percent year over year. Still, nearly half of respondents remain afraid to ask their healthcare provider about their health condition or symptoms (46% in 2023, compared to 51% in 2022).

Americans’ trust in their healthcare provider may help in this regard, and eight in 10 people polled (87%) said they trust their healthcare provider. When asked what made a healthcare provider trustworthy, survey respondents cited explaining conditions or symptoms in simple terms (62%), listening to patients’ concerns (57%) and providing personalized education and resources about conditions, symptoms and treatment options (55%) as top factors.

“Educating patients before, during and after their visit not only lets them make more informed decisions based on their individual health journey, but also increases the likelihood they will follow through with prescribed treatment,” said PatientPoint Founder and CEO Mike Collette. “More than half of Americans polled said knowing how and why their treatment is important would make them feel empowered to adhere to their treatment plan.”

When asked what would make them feel more empowered to talk with their healthcare provider about their health, survey respondents cited receiving education about their health during (55%) or before (43%) their visit as particularly helpful, as well as knowing that there is a treatment for their symptoms/condition (53%).

More than half (57%) of survey respondents cited their healthcare provider as their top source of health information, followed by Google or another search engine (43%) and social media (31%).

“Sharing content with patients tailored to their individual journey in the care moments that matter helps create better awareness and better understanding, ultimately driving better conversations and better health,” said Collette.

Survey methodology:

Data from two double-opt-in surveys conducted by OnePoll on behalf of PatientPoint. The first survey polled 2,000 nationally representative Americans between Aug. 2 and Aug. 11, 2023, with an ethnicity split through natural fallout, and the second polled 275 Latino/Hispanic Americans between Aug. 17 and Aug. 23, 2023. The surveys were conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

About PatientPoint
PatientPoint® is the patient engagement platform for every point of care. Our innovative, tech-enabled solutions create more effective doctor-patient interactions and deliver high value for patients, providers and healthcare sponsors. Through our nearly 140k unique healthcare provider relationships, PatientPoint’s solutions impact roughly 750 million patient visits each year, further advancing our mission of making every doctor-patient engagement better®. Learn more at

SOURCE PatientPoint


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