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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21-26

Patient-physician trust among adults of rural Tamil Nadu: A community-based survey


1 MPH Student, School of Public Health, SRM University, Medical College, Kattankulathur, Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Doctoral Research Fellow, School of Public Health, SRM University, Medical College, Kattankulathur, Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, SRM University, Medical College, Kattankulathur, Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
M Baidya
MPH Student, School of Public Health, SRM University, Medical College, Kattankulathur, Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0022-3859.128802

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Background: Trust is the acceptance of a vulnerable situation in which the truster believes that the trustee will act in the truster's best interests. The cornerstone of the patient-physician relationship is "trust". Despite the intensity and importance of trust relationship of patients toward their physician, the phenomenon is rarely studied in developing countries. Objective: Our study aimed to explore the concept of patient-physician trust among adults of rural Tamil Nadu to assess the factors affecting patient-physician trust relationship and patient satisfaction. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive household survey was carried out on 112 individuals selected by a multistage random sampling method. Men and women aged above 40 years who have visited a health care service at least once during the last 5 years were included in the study. Thom et al's modification of the Anderson and Dedrick Physician Trust scale was used to measure patient trust in physician. Results: Trust is a one-dimensional construct in the surveyed population as revealed by an exploratory factor analysis which extracted one component explaining 50% of the overall variance. Trust influences patient's self-reported satisfaction (β coefficient of 0.048; P < 0.001) and remains independent of all the other factors assessed in the study such as, age, gender, education, self-reported health status, time spent with the physician, physician's gender, physician's age, and medical specialty that the physician belongs to. Physician's gender, physician's age, self-reported health status, and time spent with the physician were significantly associated with satisfaction with the physician. Conclusion: Trust in physicians seems to not depend on any of the assessed factors and largely seems to be implicit in the physician-patient relationship. Trust in physician is associated with patient satisfaction. Further studies are needed to assess trust in physicians in developing country settings.






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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow