Table 2

 Features of patients’ views of medical confidentiality

Definitions of medical confidentiality
    Information stays between two people
    Information restricted to medical care or insurance
    Negative definition
What information is confidential
    Specific topics such as mental illness or sexually transmitted diseases
    Everything in the medical record
Handling confidential information
    Remembered by doctor, not recorded
    Recorded but not where others might easily read it
    Entered in medical record
Release to third party of confidential information to third party
    Would not be released
    Could be released under exceptional circumstances
    Routinely released for medical care or reimbursement
Concern when deliberating confidential information disclosure
    Disclosed selectively. Concerned with emotional consequence of self-revelation
    Disclose all needed for treatment. Some concern with institutional consequences, such as insurance eligibility