Training physicians to increase patient trust

J Eval Clin Pract. 2000 Aug;6(3):245-53. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2753.2000.00249.x.


Patient trust in the physician is an important aspect of the patient-physician relationship that has recently become a focus of interest, in part due to the rise of managed care in the US healthcare system. In a previous study, we identified physician behaviours reported by patients as important to establishing their trust in the physician. The current study attempted to modify these behaviours via a short training programme and thereby to increase patient trust and improve associated outcomes. After baseline measurements, 10 physicians were randomized to the intervention group and 10 remained as a control group. While intervention physicians showed a net improvement in 16 of 19 specific patient-reported behaviours when compared to control physicians, these differences were not statistically significant. There was also no significant difference in patient trust, patient satisfaction, continuity, self-reported adherence, number of referrals or number of diagnostic tests ordered. This short training course in a group of self-selected physicians was not a sufficiently strong intervention to achieve the desired effect. Suggestions are given for designing a stronger training intervention.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • California
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Family Practice / education
  • Family Practice / organization & administration*
  • Family Practice / standards
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Office Visits
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Random Allocation