The impact of contract service policy and doctor communication skills on rural patient-doctor trust relationship in the village clinics of three counties
Gu L., Deng J., Xu H., Zhang S., Gao M., Qu Z., Zhang W., Tian D.
Background: Trust is regarded as the cornerstone of the doctor-patient relationship in the world of medicine; it determines the decisions patients make when choosing doctors and influences patients' compliance with recommended treatments. In China, patient-doctor trust acts as a thermometer measuring harmony in the doctor-patient relationship. The objective of this study is to explore the relationship between the contract service and patient-doctor trust-building in 25 village clinics of rural China. Method: The research was carried out in village clinics in rural China. A simple random sampling method was used to choose clinics and subjects. Based on feasibility and financial support, we chose three counties as our study settings: Dafeng District, Jiangsu Province; Yinan County, Shandong Province; and Wufeng Tujia Autonomous County, Hubei Province. Twenty-five village clinics and 574 subjects were selected in the three areas from the contract service and patient list. Descriptive statistics, t-tests, MANOVA, SEM, and multiple regression statistical analysis were employed to analyze the data. Result: Statistical analysis showed that contract service directly and indirectly influenced patient-doctor trust-building in village clinics. The patient perception of doctor communication skills was a mediator in the relationship between contract service policy and patient-doctor trust-building. Conclusions: Building patient-doctor trust is important in developing and enhancing rural health. The policy of contract service plays a significant role in building relationships. Well-developed communication skills of doctors contribute to the implementation of the contract service policy and to establishing patient-doctor trust.