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Ann Fam Med. 2011 Mar-Apr;9(2):148-54. doi: 10.1370/afm.1224.

Physician trust in the patient: development and validation of a new measure.

Author information

1
Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, USA. dthom@fcm.ucsf.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Mutual trust is an important aspect of the patient-physician relationship with positive consequences for both parties. Previous measures have been limited to patient trust in the physician. We set out to develop and validate a measure of physician trust in the patient.

METHODS:

We identified candidate items for the scale by content analysis of a previous qualitative study of patient-physician trust and developed and validated a scale among 61 primary care clinicians (50 physicians and 11 nonphysicians) with respect to 168 patients as part of a community-based study of prescription opioid use for chronic, nonmalignant pain in HIV-positive adults. Polychoric factor structure analysis using the Pratt D matrix was used to reduce the number of items and describe the factor structure. Construct validity was tested by comparing mean clinician trust scores for patients by clinician and patient behaviors expected to be associated with clinician trust using a generalized linear mixed model.

RESULTS:

The final 12-item scale had high internal reliability (Cronbach α =.93) and a distinct 2-factor pattern with the Pratt matrix D. Construct validity was demonstrated with respect to clinician-reported self-behaviors including toxicology screening (P <.001), and refusal to prescribe opioids (P <.001) and with patient behaviors including reporting opioids lost or stolen (P=.008), taking opioids to get high (P <.001), and selling opioids (P<.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

If validated in other populations, this measure of physician trust in the patient will be useful in investigating the antecedents and consequences of mutual trust, and the relationship between mutual trust and processes of care, which can help improve the delivery of clinical care.

PMID:
21403142
PMCID:
PMC3056863
DOI:
10.1370/afm.1224
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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