Abstract: Use of the trust in physician scale in patients with rheumatic disease: Psychometric properties and correlates of trust in the rheumatologist

Arthritis Rheum 2003 Feb;49(1):51-8

Freburger JK, Callahan LF, Currey SS, Anderson LA.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the psychometric properties of the Trust in Physician Scale and to identify variables associated with patients’ trust in their rheumatologist.

METHODS: Analyses of self reported data from 713 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or fibromyalgia. Study variables included the Trust in Physician Scale, a decision-making question, a medical skepticism measure, and demographic and health-related measures. Internal consistency and construct validity were assessed using correlational analyses and factor analysis. A regression analysis was conducted to identify factors associated with trust in the rheumatologist.

RESULTS: Internal consistency of the scale was high (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.87). Scale items also loaded on a single factor. Construct validity was supported by inverse correlations between higher trust scores and both skepticism and independent decision making. Decreased trust was associated with older age, minority status, higher education, diagnosis of fibromyalgia or osteoarthritis, and poorer health.

CONCLUSION: The Trust in Physician Scale is appropriate for patients with rheumatic disease. Several patient characteristics appear to be associated with lower trust in the rheumatologist.

PMID: 12579593 [PubMed – in process]

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