Factors influencing trust towards physicians among patients from 12 hospitals in China

Wenxin Wang, Hao Zhang, David J. Washburn, Hongmei Shi, Yinghua Chen, Shinduk Lee, Yuxian Du, Jay E. Maddock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: We investigated the level of physician trust in China and how it is influenced by various demographic factors. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusions: 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-30
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • China
  • Correlates
  • Mixed-effects model
  • Patient-physician trust
  • Wake forest physician trust scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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