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Trust in Medical Researchers (TMR1)


AG Mainous, III, DW Smith, ME Geesey, BC Tilley (2006)

Background and Development:

The TMR1 was developed as multi-item scale through multiple cognitive pretests with 25 African American adults and a random-digit-dialing telephone survey of 512 adults in South Carolina. Psychometric characteristics of the Trust in Medical Researchers Scale was assessed by factor analysis using both orthogonal and oblique rotations and Cronbach’s alpha. Construct validity was assessed as well as a behavioral intention for future participation in a medical research project.

The results of the orthogonal and oblique rotations in the exploratory factor analysis were similar and suggested two distinct factors in the final 12 items included in the scale. The Cronbach’s alpha for the entire scale was 0.84, while it was 0.78 for the first factor of Participant Deception and 0.75 for the second factor of Researcher Honesty. Whites (28.7±5.6) had greater trust than African Americans (24.1±6.9) (p<0.001). Individuals with high trust in medical researchers were more likely to express interest in future participation in medical research.

Assessment in Elderly Populations:

This instrument has not been specifically tested with elderly populations.

Assessment in Minority Populations:

This instrument was specifically tested with minority populations.  African-Americans scored significantly lower on the Trust scale than Whites.

Subsequent Studies:

No additional studies using this tool have been published.

Design Strengths and Weaknesses:

The Trust in Medical Researchers Scale has good psychometric qualities and differentiates African American and White participants as well as individuals who indicate that they are likely to participate in medical research. More focused investigations in hard to recruit populations will help to establish the utility of the Trust in Medical Researchers Scale.

Contact Information:

Arch G. Mainous, III, PhD
Department of Family Medicine
Medical University of South Carolina
295 Calhoun St., Charleston, SC 26525


AG Mainous, III, DW Smith, ME Geesey, BC Tilley (2006) Development of a measure to assess patient trust in medicl researchers. Annals of Family Medicine 4(3), 247-252.

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