Background: Trust in health care has been intensely researched in resource rich settings. Some studies in resource poor settings suggest that the dimensions and determinants of trust are likely to be different.
Objectives: This study was done as a qualitative exploration of the dimensions and determinants of trust in health care in Tamil Nadu, a state in south India to assess the differences from dimensions and determinants in resource rich settings.
Methodology: The participants included people belonging to marginalized communities with poor access to health care services and living in conditions of resource deprivation. A total of thirty five in depth interviews were conducted. The interviews were summarized and transcribed and data were analyzed following thematic analysis and grounded theory approach.
Results: The key dimensions of trust in health care identified during the interviews were perceived competence, assurance of treatment irrespective of ability to pay or at any time of the day, patients' willingness to accept drawbacks in health care, loyalty to the physician and respect for the physician. Comfort with the physician and health facility, personal involvement of the doctor with the patient, behavior and approach of doctor, economic factors, and health awareness were identified as factors determining the levels of trust in health care.
Conclusions: The dimensions and determinants of trust in health care in resource poor settings are different from that in resource rich settings. There is a need to develop scales to measure trust in health care in resource poor settings using these specific dimensions and determinants.