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Patient Trust Scale

Authors :

A.C. Kao, D.C. Green, A.M. Zaslavsky, J.P. Koplan, P.D. Cleary (1998)

Background and Development:

The PTS was developed using psychometric analyses of data from patients in an unpublished pilot study. It is comprised of questions modified from the Trust in Physician Scale and questions about issues such as access to specialists and informing patients about medical options. Questions are presented in phone surveys. Each question takes the form of: “How much do you trust your physician(s) …”, and is scored on a 5-point Likert scale. Internal reliability was excellent (Cronbach alpha=0.94). No reports on external validity are given.

Assessment in Elderly Populations:

This instrument has not been specifically tested with elderly populations.

Assessment in Minority Populations:

This instrument has not been specifically tested with minority populations.

Subsequent Studies:

The original authors (Kao et al. 1998) used the PTS to measure patient trust and the relationship with physician payment method.

Design Strengths and Weaknesses:

The PTS shows excellent internal reliability, but information regarding external validity is lacking. Although the TPS was given as a phone interview, modification of the questions into a self-administered questionnaire would be possible. Whether the internal reliability would remain the same would need to be explored.

Contact Information:

The 10 PTS questions are published in Kao et al. (1998).


Kao, A.C. , D.C. Green, A.M. Zaslavsky s, J.P. Koplan, P.D. Cleary (1998) The relationship between method of physician payment and patient trust. J. Am. Med. Assn. 280(19), 1708-1714.