Objective: The goal of this research was to examine racial differences in trust in various healthcare institutions.
Method: In telephone interviews, 195 Whites, 183 Blacks, and 171 Latinos from Durham, NC indicated how often they trust various institutions (community doctors, local hospitals, county health department, insurance companies, and state and federal government) to do what is best for patients.
Results: In bivariate analyses, trust in various healthcare institutions was associated with race; Whites and Latinos trusted physicians more often than Blacks, and Latinos trusted the health department, insurance companies, and both government entities more often than Whites and Blacks (Ps < .01). In adjusted analyses controlling for marital status, financial status, and education, race was still associated with trust. Whites trusted physicians more often than Blacks, and Latinos trusted insurance companies, the state government, and the federal government more often than Whites and Blacks (Ps < .01).
Conclusions: Racial differences in trust of healthcare institutions vary by institution type. Future studies of trust and interventions designed to improve trust must account for race and target institution differences.