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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Religious influences on trust in physicians and the health care system

Maureen Reindl Benjamins, PhD, Center for Research on Health and Aging, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1747 W. Roosevelt Rd, RM 558, M/C 275, Chicago, IL 60608, 312-996-1447, reindl@alumni.duke.edu

Trust is an important issue in health care today because it can predict a variety of health behaviors, from adherence to treatment regimens to utilization of preventive services. Especially in light of the changing nature of the health care system, many health researchers are becoming increasingly interested in the relationships between patients, physicians, and the health care system. The primary predictors of trust usually include demographic and socioeconomic factors, but it is possible that religious involvement, affiliation, and strength of affiliation also influence trust.

Data from the General Social Survey (1998) are used to examine the association between various facets of religion and trust of the health care system and its providers. Three distinct sets of attitudes are investigated: personal trust in one’s physician, public confidence in physicians, and attitudes toward the health care system. Preliminary findings indicate that various aspects of religion are, in fact, associated with attitudes toward health care. For example, individuals who attend religious services more often are likely to have higher levels of trust in their doctors compared to those who never attend services. Levels of trust also vary by religious denomination and strength of affiliation.

Findings such as these can provide important information about potential predictors of trust. These results may also help to explain part of the connection between religion and health care utilization. This type of information could be valuable for researchers and policy-makers interested in health care utilization disparities.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant in this session will be able to

Keywords: Health Care, Religion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Faith and Health Collaborations That Work

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA