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Open Access Factors Influencing Trust towards Physicians among Patients from 12 Hospitals in China


We investigated the level of physician trust in China and how it is influenced by various demographic factors.


We surveyed 12 public hospitals from which inpatients were randomly selected using hospitalization ID and outpatients were selected using census sampling to participate in the interview. Trust in physicians was measured using the Chinese version of Wake Forest Physician Trust Scale. Mixed-effects and logistic models were employed to study correlates of trust.


The distribution of scale mean was left skewed, which implied a subpopulation bearing low levels of trust towards physicians. Respondents who were male, young, outpatients, unsatisfied with their life status, had high levels of education and income, and paid less attention to their health were prone to be less satisfied with their physicians.


The level of physician trust in China is lower compared to studies in western countries. We also found demographic factors related with significantly lower physician trust, which may help policymakers identify potential target subpopulations and be more specific with their efforts to improve patient-physician relationships.

Keywords: China; Wake Forest Physician Trust Scale; correlates; mixed-effects model; patient-physician trust

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2018

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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