Trust in physicians among U.S. Chinese older adults

Melissa A. Simon*, Manrui Zhang, XinQi Dong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background. Trust in physicians influences the health and well-being of older adults and is an important indicator to assess the quality of medical care. However, Asian aging populations are often underrepresented in studies of patient trust in physicians. This study aims to examine the level of trust in physicians among Chinese older adults in a communitydwelling Chinese aging population. Methods. Data were drawn from the Population Study of Chinese Elderly, a population-based survey of U.S. Chinese older adults in the Greater Chicago area. Guided by a community-based participatory research approach, a total of 3,159 Chinese older adults aged 60 and above were surveyed. An 11-item scale was used to measure participants' trust in physicians. Results. On a scale of 11-55, the level of trust in physician among U.S. Chinese older adults was 42.0 (SD = 6.3). Items related to confidence in physicians' knowledge and skills were most commonly endorsed, including trusting physicians' judgment on medical care (84.8%), trusting physicians' advice (84.2%), and trusting physicians' words that something is so and must be true (81.2%). Younger age, male gender, higher educational level, fewer years of residing in the United States and in the community, poorer self-reported health status, and poorer quality of life were associated with lower level of trust in physicians. Conclusions. Trust in physician is commonly endorsed among U.S. Chinese older adults. However, future longitudinal studies are needed to improve our understanding of risk factors and outcomes associated with trust in physicians among U.S. Chinese older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S46-S53
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
StatePublished - 2014


  • Chinese aging
  • Older adults
  • Population studies
  • Trust in physician

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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