Development of the Trust in Physician scale: a measure to assess interpersonal trust in patient-physician relationships

Psychol Rep. 1990 Dec;67(3 Pt 2):1091-100. doi: 10.2466/pr0.1990.67.3f.1091.


Trust is widely acknowledged as an essential ingredient in patient-physician relationships. Given a dearth of situation-specific measures designed to quantify patients' trust in their physicians, we set out to develop an instrument to assess a patient's interpersonal trust in his physician. Findings from two studies are reported describing the development and validation of the Trust in Physician scale. Study 1 of 160 participants provided preliminary support for the reliability (Cronbach alpha = .90) and construct validity of the 11-item scale. Study 2, a replication study of 106 participants, supplied further evidence of the reliability and validity of the scale. Cronbach alpha was .85. Trust was significantly related to patients' desires for control in their clinical interactions and subsequent satisfaction with care. Research and clinical applications of the Trust in Physician scale are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Sick Role*