When physicians and patients think alike: Patient-centered beliefs and their impact on satisfaction and trust

E. Krupat, Robert A Bell, Richard L Kravitz, D. Thom, R. Azari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

169 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Our goal was to identify physician and patient characteristics associated with patient-centered beliefs about the sharing of information and power, and to determine how these beliefs affect patients' evaluations. STUDY DESIGN: Physicians provided demographic information and completed a scale assessing their beliefs about sharing information and power with their patients. A sample of their patients filled out the same scale and made evaluations of their physicians before and after a target visit. POPULATION: Physicians and patients in a large multispecialty group practice and a model health maintenance organization were included. Forty-five physicians in internal medicine, family practice, and cardiology participated, as well as 909 of their patients who had a significant concern. OUTCOMES MEASURED: We measured trust in the physician pre-visit, and visit satisfaction and physician endorsement immediately post-visit. RESULTS: Among patients, patient-centered beliefs (a preference for information and control) were associated with being female, white, younger, more educated, and having a higher income; among physicians these beliefs were unrelated to sex, ethnicity, or experience. The patients of patient-centered physicians were no more trusting or endorsing of their physicians, and they were not more satisfied with the target visit. However, patients whose beliefs were congruent with their physicians' beliefs were more likely to trust and endorse them, even though they were not more satisfied with the target visit. CONCLUSIONS: The extent of congruence between physicians' and patients' beliefs plays an important role in determining how patients evaluate their physicians, although satisfaction with a specific visit and overall trust may be determined differently.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1057-1062
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Family Practice
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes



  • Congruence [non-MESH]
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Patient-centered care
  • Physician-patient relations
  • Trust [non-MESH]

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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