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Received knowledge of elective surgical patients and their trust in hospital staff: a cross-sectional multicentre study

Stein Conradsen, Valentina Cabral Iversen


Rationale, aims and objectives: Trust is an essential component of the patient-physician relationship and is of relevance to all patients, including those undergoing elective surgery. Trust can be considered a collective good and there is also evidence of a positive relationship between mutual trust and numerous health benefits. Although information interventions for these patients have been studied and have several positive outcomes, little is known about the relationship between information provision and trust. The aim of this study is to investigate whether an association exists between knowledge received by elective surgical patients and their trust in hospital staff.

Methods: We used the following instruments in this cross-sectional multicentre study: Hospital Patients’ ReceivedKnowledge(HPRK) and a questionnaire to measuretrustinanemergencydepartment. The main variables were 40 items about received knowledge and 3 items on trust in physicians.

Results: There is a positive association between the patients’ self-reported knowledge that they received related to the hospital stay and their trust in the physicians (Pearson’s r between the knowledge index and the trust index, r = 0.416, P < 0.01).

Conclusion: The study suggests that successful patient information is positively related to patients’ trust in hospital staff.


Communication skills, educational interventions, elective surgery, patient education, patient knowledge, patient participation, person-centered healthcare, received knowledge, shared decision-making, trust

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