Having trust in their health care professional may be consequential for patients' satisfaction, health behaviours and quality of life, according to the findings of a new study published in PLoS One.
For the study, researchers from the University of Basel and Harvard Medical School conducted a meta-analysis of 47 studies from Europe, Asia, North America and Australia, which dealt with the relationship between trust and an improved state of health in people undergoing medical treatment.
They found that while there was no proven effect when using objective clinical parameters or when doctors assessed the state of health, patients reported more beneficial health behaviours, less symptoms, higher quality of life and greater satisfaction with treatment when they had higher trust in their health care professional.
“The results of our meta-analysis are a clear indication of the value of patients’ trust in their medical professionals. They emphasise the need to make developing and safeguarding trust an integral part of clinical education and practice,” said Professor Jens Gaab, co-author of the study.
The authors said prospective studies are required "to deepen understanding of the complex interplay between trust and health outcomes".