News Release

Researchers identify four factors that promote high clinician and patient trust, which may improve patient care

Peer-Reviewed Publication

American Academy of Family Physicians

Trust in the medical profession has dropped from a high of 75 percent in a 1966 survey to a low of 33 percent in 2018. Researchers sought to determine the characteristics of health organizations that promoted clinician trust. They further hypothesized that clinician trust may be correlated with patients’ trust in their clinician. 


“High clinician-high patient” trust occurred when clinicians perceived their organizational culture as having: 1) an emphasis on quality; 2) an emphasis on communication and information; 3) cohesiveness among clinicians; and 4) values aligned between clinicians and their leaders.


The researchers concluded that addressing organizational culture may improve trust at the organizational and patient levels. Lack of trust in the medical profession has implications for patient care since research from past epidemics has shown that lack of trust decreases the likelihood of patients adhering to public health recommendations. Linzer et al write that it is critical to identify factors that will assist health systems to better understand how to create the most trust within their work environments.


Where Trust Flourishes: Perceptions of Clinicians Who Trust Their Organizations and Are Trusted by Their Patients

Mark Linzer, MD, et al

Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute, Hennepin Healthcare and the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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