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  1. Salt, Elizabeth
  2. Rayens, Mary Kay
  3. Kerr, Anna M.
  4. Alikhan, Mujahed
  5. Crofford, Leslie J.


BACKGROUND: Patients who trust their providers have better health outcomes; a trusting patient-provider relationship is needed for optimal management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a chronic autoimmune disease.


PURPOSES/METHODS: An observational study design (N = 100 RA patients) was used to:


1. assess associations between patients' trust and demographic factors;


2. determine if a patient's trust in his/her provider changes over time;


3. investigate associations between sources of information and patients' trust in their providers. Descriptive statistics, Pearson's partial moment correlation, two-sample t tests, paired t tests, and linear regression were used during data analysis.



RESULTS: Patients' trust in their providers decreased over time. Less-educated persons and those who accessed information from the Internet reported less trust in their providers. Patients who consulted a larger number of information sources rated trust in their provider more positively.


CONCLUSION: RA patients' trust in providers is a dynamic construct influenced by education and health information.