Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Public Health. 2011 Jun;56(3):319-27. doi: 10.1007/s00038-010-0212-x. Epub 2010 Nov 13.

The relationship between social support, shared decision-making and patient's trust in doctors: a cross-sectional survey of 2,197 inpatients using the Cologne Patient Questionnaire.

Author information

Institute for Medical Sociology, Health Services Research and Rehabilitation Science (IMVR), University of Cologne, Eupener Str. 129, Cologne, Germany.



Empirical studies have confirmed that a trusting physician-patient interaction promotes patient satisfaction, adherence to treatment and improved health outcomes. The objective of this analysis was to investigate the relationship between social support, shared decision-making and inpatient's trust in physicians in a hospital setting.


A written questionnaire was completed by 2,197 patients who were treated in the year 2000 in six hospitals in Germany. Logistic regression was performed with a dichotomized index for patient's trust in physicians.


The logistic regression model identified significant relationships (p < 0.05) in terms of emotional support (standardized effect coefficient [sc], 3.65), informational support (sc, 1.70), shared decision-making (sc, 1.40), age (sc, 1.14), socioeconomic status (sc, 1.15) and gender (sc, 1.15). We found no significant relationship between 'tendency to excuse' and trust. The last regression model accounted for 49.1% of Nagelkerke's R-square.


Insufficient physician communication skills can lead to extensive negative effects on the trust of patients in their physicians. Thus, it becomes clear that medical support requires not only biomedical, but also psychosocial skills.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center