An improved scale for assessing patients' trust in their physician

Health Mark Q. 2001;19(1):23-42. doi: 10.1300/J026v19n01_03.


Patients' trust in their primary care physician is a critical concept for healthcare practitioners and scholars. At the clinical level, such trust buttresses patient-physician treatment relationships; at the organizational level, such trust fosters enhanced organizational effectiveness and other positive outcomes. To empirically assess various trust-related issues on both levels, we develop a comprehensive, bi-dimensional trust scale specific to patient-physician relationships. Response analysis from two samples suggests that the scale's benevolence dimension comprises understanding patients' individual experiences, expressing caring, communicating clearly and completely, building partnership and sharing power, demonstrating honesty and respect, and keeping information confidential. The scale's technical competence dimension comprises evaluating problems thoroughly, providing appropriate and effective treatment, predisposing factors, and structural and staffing factors.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Communication
  • Humans
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Primary Health Care / standards*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quality of Health Care / classification*
  • Research Design
  • Southwestern United States
  • Students / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*