Patient Trust in Physicians: Empirical Evidence from Shanghai, China

第一作者:Da-Hai Zhao

2016-04-13 点击量:118   我要说

Da-Hai Zhao,  Ke-Qin Rao,  Zhi-Ruo Zhang


Patient trust in physicians, which can be considered a collective good, is necessary for an effective health care system. However, there is a widespread concern that patient trust in physicians is declining under various threats to the physician–patient relationship worldwide. This article aimed to assess patient trust in physicians through a quantitative study in Shanghai, China, and to provide appropriate suggestions for improving the trust in China.


The data from a survey conducted in Zhongshan Hospital and Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital, which are two tertiary public hospitals in Shanghai, were used in this study. Patient trust in physicians was the dependent variable. Furthermore, a 10-item scale was used to precisely describe the dependent variable. The demographic characteristics were independent variables of trust in physicians. Binomial logistic regression was employed to analyze the factors associated with the dependent variable, which was divided into two categories on the basis of the responses (1: Strongly agree or agree and 0: Strongly disagree, disagree, or neutral).


This study found that 67% of patients trusted or strongly trusted physicians. The mean score of patient trust in physicians was 35.4 from a total score of 50. Furthermore, patient trust in physicians was significantly correlated with the age, education level, annual income, and health insurance coverage of the patients.


Patient trust in physicians in Shanghai, China is higher than previously reported. Furthermore, the most crucial reason for patient distrust in physicians is the information asymmetry between patients and physicians, which is a natural property of the physician–patient relationship, rather than the so-called for-profit characteristic of physicians or patients' excessive expectations.

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