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Department of Family Medicine

Patient Trust in Their Physicians Scale

Authors:

B. Leisen, M.R. Hyman (2001)

Background and Development:

The PTTPS was developed starting with the nine individual dimensions of trust identified by Thom and Campbell (1997) from focus groups, and added a dimension of confidentiality. Two overarching dimensions encompass the ten individual dimensions of trust. The overarching dimension of technical competence includes the following individual dimensions: evaluating problems, providing appropriate and effective treatment, predisposing factors, and structural/staffing factors. The overarching dimension of benevolence includes the following individual dimensions: understanding the patient’s individual experiences, expressing caring, communicating clearly and completely, building partnership, demonstrating honesty, and keeping information confidential. Except for the dimension of confidentiality, each individual dimension has four to seven items, and are answered on a 7-point Likert scale (1=stronly disagree, 7=stronly agree).

Factor analysis confirms the significance of item loadings onto the individual dimensions of trust, except for the dimension of confidentiality, which has only one item. These dimensions of trust also showed good to excellent reliability (Cronbach alpha > 0.8). The analyses of both the uni- and the bi-dimensional models confirm the significance of both: the overall measurement of trust and the two overarching dimensions of trust. Validity is assessed through several comparisons between the overarching dimensions of trust and objective measures such as referring a friend, compliance with doctor’s recommendations, or returning for more care. Correlations were high (>0.65) and support the criterion-related validity of this scale.

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:

No additional studies using this tool have been published.

Design Strengths and Weaknesses:

The PTTPS was developed from a solid foundation of theoretical and focus group research. It shows good to excellent reliability of the individual trust dimensions. The trust scale and the overarching trust dimensions show significant relationships. The length of the scale (51 items, 15 minutes) may prove to be a barrier to some respondents. The authors suggest that future development of an abridged scale may be warranted.

Contact Information:

Birgit Leisen
College of Business Administration, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
800 Algoma Blvd., Oshkosh, WI, 54901-8679
E-mail: leisen@uwosh.edu

References:

Leisen, B., M.R. Hyman (2001) An improved scale for assessing patients’ trust in their physician. Health Marketing Quarterly 19(1) 23-42.

Thom, D.H., and B. Campbell (1997) Patient physician trust: an exploratory study. J. Family Practice 44(2) 169-176.

 
 
 

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