The Relationship between Doctor and Patient as an Indicator of the Level of Trust in Medical Care

  •  Katarzyna Pawlikowska - Łagód    
  •  Magdalena Suchodolska    


Communication between the doctor and the patient is one of the most important elements affecting the treatment process. The trust, which determines the patients’ health attitude and their implementation of medical recommendations, is built by maintaining an appropriate doctor-patient relationship. A trusting patients demonstrate better mental and physical well-being, obtain better diagnostic results, use preventive healthcare services more frequently, and show greater confidence in the overall health system. Nevertheless, in order for the patients to exhibit such behaviors, they must trust the physician, which is influenced by many important issues: the maintenance an appropriate doctor-patient relationship, the patients’ hope, the prevailing opinion about the physician as well as stereotypes about the medical profession (including age, gender, professional experience, professional and scientific title). This paper presents different models of the doctor-patient relationship and how each of them affects the level of trust in the discussed relationship. In addition, it is described how stereotypes about medical personnel influence the trust among patients. All information included in the study are based on the available literature.

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