UMMS Affiliation

Division of Geriatric Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; *Attitude to Health; Female; Health Care Surveys; Health Maintenance Organizations; Humans; Insurance, Health; Male; Middle Aged; North Carolina; Patient Satisfaction; Physician-Patient Relations; Physicians; Quality Indicators, Health Care; Questionnaires; Reproducibility of Results; *Trust; United States




BACKGROUND: Despite the recent proliferation in research on patient trust, it is seldom a primary outcome, and is often a peripheral area of interest. The length of our original scales to measure trust may limit their use because of the practical needs to minimize both respondent burden and research cost. The objective of this study was to develop three abbreviated scales to measure trust in: (1) a physician, (2) a health insurer, and (3) the medical profession. METHODS: Data from two samples were used. The first was a telephone survey of English-speaking adults in the United States (N = 1117) and the second was a telephone survey of English-speaking adults residing in North Carolina who were members of a health maintenance organization (N = 1024). Data were analyzed to examine data completeness, scaling assumptions, internal consistency properties, and factor structure. RESULTS: Abbreviated measures (5-items) were developed for each of the three scales. Cronbach's alpha was 0.87 for trust in a physician (test-retest reliability = 0.71), 0.84 for trust in a health insurer (test-retest reliability = 0.73), and 0.77 for trust in the medical profession. CONCLUSION: Assessment of data completeness, scale score dispersion characteristics, reliability and validity test results all provide evidence for the soundness of the abbreviated 5-item scales.

DOI of Published Version



BMC Health Serv Res. 2005 Oct 3;5:64. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

BMC health services research

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Included in

Geriatrics Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.