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Trust in Medical Researchers (TMR2)


MA Hall, F Camacho, JS Lawlor, V DePuy, J Sugarman, K Weinfurt (2006)

Background and Development:

The Survey items were developed based on a conceptual model of the primary domains of researcher trust (safety, fidelity, honesty, global trust). Pilot testing was conducted on a regional convenience sample of adults (n=124). Exploratory factor analyses of the data were performed, and an item selection procedure reduced the number of survey questions. A final set of 12 items was validated, and a 4-item short version of the researcher trust scale was selected and tested in a national web-based survey of asthma and
diabetes patients (n=3623). Further factor analysis and validation were performed on this larger sample.

Both the full and short scales have a single-factor structure with acceptable internal reliability (alphas of 0.87 [12 items] and 0.72 [4 items]). Trust in physician researchers and trust in medical researchers generally were found not to be separate constructs. In the national sample, the short scale was positively associated with better health status, prior participation in medical research, and willingness to participate in a hypothetical medical research study, and negatively associated with African-American race and higher education.

Assessment in Elderly Populations:

This instrument has not been specifically tested with elderly populations.

Assessment in Minority Populations:

African-Americans scored significantly lower on this trust scale than Whites.

Subsequent Studies:

No additional studies using this tool have been published.

Design Strengths and Weaknesses:

The TMR2 is easy to administer.  The short (4-item) version is ideal for inclusion in other surveys.

Contact Information:

Mark A. Hall
Wake Forest University
Department of Social Science and Health Policy
Winston-Salem, NC 27157


M.A. Hall, F. Camacho, JS Lawlor, V DePuy, J Sugarman, K Weinfurt (2006) Measuring trust in medical researchers. Medical Care 44(11), 1048-1053.

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