Training physicians to increase patient trust. Journal of evaluation in clinical practice Thom, D. H. 2000; 6 (3): 245-53


Patient trust in the physician is an important aspect of the patient-physician relationship that has recently become a focus of interest, in part due to the rise of managed care in the US healthcare system. In a previous study, we identified physician behaviours reported by patients as important to establishing their trust in the physician. The current study attempted to modify these behaviours via a short training programme and thereby to increase patient trust and improve associated outcomes. After baseline measurements, 10 physicians were randomized to the intervention group and 10 remained as a control group. While intervention physicians showed a net improvement in 16 of 19 specific patient-reported behaviours when compared to control physicians, these differences were not statistically significant. There was also no significant difference in patient trust, patient satisfaction, continuity, self-reported adherence, number of referrals or number of diagnostic tests ordered. This short training course in a group of self-selected physicians was not a sufficiently strong intervention to achieve the desired effect. Suggestions are given for designing a stronger training intervention.

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