Prof Paul Ward asked if 'trust' was an integral part of our practice and if we had considered the impact on treatment outcomes for our patients. He graphically (with humourous dipictions) described the differing perceptions of a variety of cohorts, including CALD, MSM, Sex Workers and Indigenous patients and how trust is essential to ensure adherence to care plans.
There are many different concepts of trust, but essentially the need to trust is due to lack of knowledge i.e. you have to rely on the clinician, and in trusting there is an element of risk, as you have to assume the clinician has the level of appropriate knowledge and also has your best interests at heart.
There also needs to be trust in the system and for a patient this trust is usually formed at the point of access, therefore, the person who has initial contact can influence the level of trust - begs the question, are we providing an appropriate level of training for our frontline staff?
For a patient, once a trusting relationship has been formed, they can 'move on' and concentrate on their journey and not on the driver.
Fortuitously, a survey has shown that 62% of the Australian population trust their doctors, but only 2.2% trust their politician.