The purpose of this cross-sectional survey study is to quantitatively examine the differences in patient trust towards physicians between four different clinical departments in a Chinese hospital. Using a validated modified Chinese version of the Wake Forest Physician Trust Scale, we measured patient trust in each department, and also collected data on patient demographics. A total of 436 patients or family members were surveyed in the departments of emergency medicine, pediatrics, cardiology, and orthopedic surgery. Significant differences were found between the departments, especially between pediatrics (trust score 43.23, range 11-50) and emergency medicine and cardiology (trust scores 45.29 and 45.79, respectively with range of 11-50). The average total score across all four departments was 44.72. There are indications that specifically comparing departments, such as patient demographics or department structure, could be helpful in tailoring patient care to improve physician-patient relationships.
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