Investigating Patient Trust in Doctors: A Cross-Sectional Survey of Out-Patient Departments in Fiji

Swastika Chandra, Paul Ward, Masoud Mohammadnezhad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Despite evidence on the positive impact of trust in a doctor-patient relationship on health outcomes, there are limited studies conducted in Pacific Island Countries including Fiji. This study was conducted to assess the current level of patient trust in doctors and investigate its determinants in Fiji. Method: A random sample of 410 participants attending the outpatient services completed the self-administered structured questionnaire. The response rate was 91% (N=375) and data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and analytic analysis using logistic regression. Result: Mean age of participants was 38years (±15yrs). The majority of patients had partial trust in their doctors compared to full trust (61.6% vs 38.4%). More than half of the participants perceived doctor’s communication behavior as fair rather than good (53.6% vs 45.6%). Those over 50 years (OR 1.96; p=0.007, 95% CI: 1.198–3.226) and those who perceived doctors’ communication behavior as good (OR 8.48; p=0.0001, 95% CI: 5.257–13.709) were significantly more likely to have full trust in the doctors. Conclusion: This study reveals that age and communication are determinants of trust in Fiji. In view of the current perception of the doctors’ communication behavior, Fiji’s Ministry of Health and Medical Services should implement policies to give equal importance to the communication skills of the doctors together with their clinical skills and enforce it in the medical schools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-377
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Quarterly of Community Health Education
Issue number4
Early online date21 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • determinants
  • doctor-patient communication
  • Fiji
  • trust


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