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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

Print version ISSN 1645-0086


PRAZERES, Filipe et al. Medical students’ trust in their family physician. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2020, vol.21, n.2, pp.367-376. ISSN 1645-0086.

Trust is an essential part of a good physician-patient relationship and measuring it allows to improve the healthcare system. Medical students can evaluate physicians’ technical competency more profoundly than a layperson, so it is possible to evaluate a less asymmetrical interpersonal trusting relationship than the one between physician and patient. This study aimed to: (i) measure the level of medical students’ trust in their family physicians; (ii) study the differences between medical students’ characteristics and the level of trust; and (iii) measure the attitudes towards doctors of medical students and their relationship to trust in family physicians. A cross-sectional study was carried out with a convenience sample of medical students from two Portuguese public universities. Students were invited to answer a web-based questionnaire that included sociodemographic and academic variables, the Trust in Physician Scale (TIPS) and the attitudes towards doctors’ factor of the Attitudes to Doctors and Medicine Scale. Data were analyzed using appropriate statistical methods. 172 medical students responded to the questionnaire. Most were female (74.4%) and the mean age was 23.7 (SD 2.3 years). 80.8% were students from the clinical cycle. A moderate trust in family physicians was found (mean total score of TIPS was 3.7 (SD 0.7), and a positive attitude toward doctors was more frequent than the negative one. Older age, good teaching quality in family medicine, and seeking family physicians for urgent care appear to be associated with students’ higher trust in family physicians, but this needs to be studied further using larger samples.

Keywords : trust; medical students; family physician; physician-patient relationship.

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