Emma Katz

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Barry Edelstein

Committee Co-Chair

Amy Fiske

Committee Member

Nicholas Turiano


Trust is an essential component of any interpersonal relationship, but it is particularly integral to the patient-physician relationship. Patient-physician trust increases willingness to seek treatment, disclose sensitive information, adhere to medical recommendations, and share decision-making authority. While there have been developments in current research on the psychosocial variables associated with patient-physician trust, there continues to be the need for a psychometrically sound measure of trust, as well as a further need for psychometric evaluation of already developed measures. The purpose of the study was to reexamine a measure of patient-physician trust, the Wake Forest Physician Trust Scale (WFPTS), using more properly selected measures to obtain convergent and discriminant validity evidence as well as reliability evidence. Although the WFPTS was chosen due to its appropriate and comprehensive scale development process, construct validity evidence with an adult population was questionable and there was no reported validity and/or reliability evidence for an older adult population. Three hundred and forty English-speaking, community-dwelling adults were recruited to participate in this study. Data was collected with the WFPTS and measures of trustworthiness, patient satisfaction, decision-making, health locus of control, confidentiality, health, personality traits, and physician empathy to gather validity evidence for the WFPTS with adult and older adult samples. Measures of internal consistency also were obtained. Scores of the WFPTS exhibited satisfactory internal consistency and good convergent validity with significant, moderate to strong correlations with both the young adult and older adult samples. Discriminant validity evidence was also demonstrated with each age group based on weak relations with a measure of openness to experience. Findings from this study provide support for the psychometric properties of the WFPTS with young and older adult populations. These results also confirm the validity of data obtained with the WFPTS with young adults and provide support for the use of this instrument with older adults. Future directions for research with this instrument are discussed.

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Psychology Commons