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What Does the Chinese Public Care About with Regard to Primary Care Physicians: Trustworthiness or Competence?
Faculty of Education, Hubei University, Wuhan, China.
Örebro University, School of Medical Sciences. Örebro University Hospital. (Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3552-9153
2019 (English)In: Medicina (Kaunas), ISSN 1010-660X, E-ISSN 1648-9144, Vol. 55, no 8, article id E455Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background and Objective: China has launched a series of reforms to enhance primary care. The aims of these reforms are to strengthen the functionality of primary care to encourage patients to use primary care. Patients’ trust in physicians is important in clinical medicine; however, little is known about how Chinese patients’ preferences relate to their trust in primary care physicians. This study’s objectives are to measure the Chinese public’s trust in primary care physicians and to characterize reasons of their preferences for health care.

Materials and Methods: This quantitative study comprises a face-to-face survey with a convenience sample (n = 273) of people visiting community health centers or stations (CHCSs) in Wuhan, China. We measured the patients’ preferences for the different level of hospitals and their trust in physicians, as well as the reasons of the patients’ preferences, using a Chinese version of the Wake Forest Physician Trust Scale and other variables (such as demographics, health status, and hospital preference).

Results: Approximately two thirds (68.6%) of the participants had experienced a mild or chronic disease in the year before the survey, but only 26.4% preferred to visit CHCSs in such cases. The negative factors related to this lack of preference are the physicians’ competence (odds ratio [OR] = 0.250), the medical equipment (OR = 0.301), and the popularity of hospitals (OR = 0.172). The positive factors were ease of access (OR = 2.218) and affordability (OR = 1.900). The participants expressed a moderate trust in physicians in CHCSs (score of 3.02 out of 5). There is no association between the patients’ trust and their hospital preference (r = 0.019, p = 0.859). Of the participants, 92 suggested that the physicians in CHCSs should improve in terms of their competence (n = 53), attitude (n = 35), and/or medical ethics (n = 16).

Conclusions: This study’s results suggest that patients consider improving physicians’ competence to be more important and urgent than improving those physicians’ trustworthiness in terms of reconstructing Chinese primary care. Improving the physicians’ competence would not only reduce the barriers that patients experience regarding CHCSs, but would also increase their trust in the physicians.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Kauno Medicinos Universitetas, Kaunas University of Medicine , 2019. Vol. 55, no 8, article id E455
Keywords [en]
Hospital preference, primary care, public trust
National Category
Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-75806DOI: 10.3390/medicina55080455PubMedID: 31405053OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-75806DiVA, id: diva2:1344412
Available from: 2019-08-20 Created: 2019-08-20 Last updated: 2019-08-20Bibliographically approved

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Cao, Yang

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