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Interpersonal Physician Trust Scale


M.A. Hall, B. Zheng, E. Dugan, F. Camacho, K.E. Kidd, A. Mishra, R. Balkrishnan (2002)

Background and Development:

Development of the IPTS was based on theoretical and empirical work by others (Hall et al. 2001). The authors conceptualized patient trust in five domains: fidelity, competence, honesty, confidentiality, and global trust. Following focus group discussions and preliminary field testing, a 26-item survey was tested in a national phone survey and in a regional (North Carolina) survey of HMO members. Each item was cored on a 5-point Likert scale. Following factor analyses less significant and redundant items were eliminated resulting in the final 10-item questionnaire.

The reliability of this questionnaire was excellent with Cronbach alpha > 0.9 in both phone surveys. The two-month test-retest reliability in the regional survey was very good (r=0.75). Good correlations exist between the IPTS and other measures such as physician satisfaction, willingness to recommend to friends, desire to switch, and seeking a second opinion. The authors compare the IPTS to the Trust in Physician Scale, the Patient Trust Scale, and the Primary Care Assessment Survey to elucidate similarities and differences among these survey tools.

Assessment in Elderly Populations:

This instrument has not been specifically tested with elderly populations.

Assessment in Minority Populations:

This survey tool was developed using focus groups consisting of 33% African-Americans. The IPTS has been used in low socioeconomic class populations by the authors (as yet unpublished). The authors also are currently preparing and testing a Spanish-language version of the IPTS.

Subsequent Studies:

Hall et al. (2002) used the HITS and the IPTS to measure patient trust in response to HMO information regarding physician incentives.

Design Strengths and Weaknesses:

The IPTS is directed to more personal qualities of the physician than some of the other survey tools. It shows excellent internal reliability and good test-retest correlation.

Contact Information:

A copy of the IPTS can be obtained from the author at no charge.
Mark A. Hall, J.D.
Professor of Law and Public Health
Wake Forest University Medical School
Department of Public Health Sciences
Winston-Salem NC 27157-1063


Hall, M.A., E. Dugan, B. Zheng, and A.K. Mishra (2001) Trust in physicians and medical institutions: What is it, can it be measured, and does it matter? The Milbank Quarterly, 79(4): 613-639.

Hall, M.A., E. Dugan, R. Balkrishnan, and D. Bradley (2002) How disclosing HMO physician incentives affects trust. Health Affairs 21(2), 197-206.

Hall, M.A. , B. Zheng, E. Dugan, F. Camacho, K.E. Kidd, A. Mishra, R. Balkrishnan (2002) Measuring patients’ trust in their primary care providers. Medical Care Research and Review 59(3): 293-318.

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