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Examining Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients' Trust in Their Provider Over Time

The Effects of Demographic Factors and Accessing Sources of Information

Salt, Elizabeth; Rayens, Mary Kay; Kerr, Anna M.; Alikhan, Mujahed; Crofford, Leslie J.

doi: 10.1097/NOR.0000000000000145

BACKGROUND: Patients who trust their providers have better health outcomes; a trusting patient–provider relationship is needed for optimal management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a chronic autoimmune disease.

PURPOSES/METHODS: An observational study design (N = 100 RA patients) was used to:

  1. assess associations between patients' trust and demographic factors;
  2. determine if a patient's trust in his/her provider changes over time;
  3. investigate associations between sources of information and patients' trust in their providers. Descriptive statistics, Pearson's partial moment correlation, two-sample t tests, paired t tests, and linear regression were used during data analysis.

RESULTS: Patients' trust in their providers decreased over time. Less-educated persons and those who accessed information from the Internet reported less trust in their providers. Patients who consulted a larger number of information sources rated trust in their provider more positively.

CONCLUSION: RA patients' trust in providers is a dynamic construct influenced by education and health information.

Elizabeth Salt, PhD, APRN, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Lexington; and Department of Internal Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington.

Mary Kay Rayens, PhD, Professor, College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky.

Anna M. Kerr, MA, PhD, Department of Communication, University of Kentucky, Lexington.

Mujahed Alikhan, MD, Physician, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington.

Leslie J. Crofford, MD, Chief, Division of Rheumatology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.

This project was funded by the American College of Rheumatology's Rheumatology Research Foundation's Scientist Development Award. Authors do not have conflicts of interest to report in regard to the conduct or reporting of this project and its findings.

© 2015 National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses