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Keywords:

  • patient trust;
  • instrument development;
  • HIV

Abstract

A sequential multi-method approach using focus groups, individual interviews, and quantitative instrument development procedures was used to develop and evaluate a scale to measure patient trust in health care providers (HCPs). The resulting 15-item Health Care Relationship (HCR) Trust Scale was tested for internal consistency, test–retest reliability, and construct validity. The Cronbach alphas were .92 (time 1) and .95 (time 2), respectively. Test–retest reliability was .59 (p < .01). The HCR Trust Scale did not correlate with the Marlowe–Crowne Social Desirability Scale (r = .20, p = .07) or the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine scale (r = −.21, p = .13). Principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation revealed a three-factor solution that explained 69% of the estimated common variance in the HCR trust scale. Cronbach alphas for the 3 factors ranged from .81 to .89. Findings of this study support the use of the HCR Trust Scale for measuring trust in various HCPs by diverse patient populations. More work is needed to test the usefulness of the scale with a greater number of patients and in other chronic illness populations. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 29: 477–488, 2006