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Med Care. 2008 Aug;46(8):795-805. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0b013e31817919c0.

Translating primary care practice climate into patient activation: the role of patient trust in physician.

Author information

1
Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30345, USA. ebeck01@sph.emory.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Little is known about processes by which proactive primary care teams might activate their patients. We examine the role of trust in patient-physician relationships for translating practice teamwork into patient activation.

METHODS:

Data were collected by surveys of adult enrollees and primary care teams of a group-model managed care organization in metropolitan Atlanta. Enrollees who were 25-59 years of age were randomly sampled from 3 condition cohorts (diabetes, elevated lipids but no coronary artery disease history, and low risk). A total of 2224 responded to a mixed mode survey in 2005 (42% response rate). Ninety-seven practitioners and 187 support staff of 16 primary care teams responded to a practice climate survey in 2004 (85% response rate). Practice climate is a multidimensional concept measuring support and collaboration with a team. Linear models of patients nested within their primary care teams were estimated for patient trust in physician as a function of practice climate and for activation as a function of trust, adjusted for other respondent characteristics.

RESULTS:

We found significant, positive associations between practice climate and patient trust in their primary care physicians and between patient trust and activation in their health.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our study shows 1 process by which practice climate translates into patient activation. Supportive interactions among practitioners and staff within primary care teams facilitate trust-building interactions between practitioners and patients. Supportive, trustworthy interactions, in turn, help to ameliorate the inherent imbalance in power between patients and physicians, contributing to patients who take a more active role in their health.

PMID:
18665059
DOI:
10.1097/MLR.0b013e31817919c0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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