An Evaluation of the Relationship Between Patients’ Adult Attachment Styles of Veterans and Their Level of Trust in Their Physicians at a Veteran Health Care System

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European Journal of Business and Social Sciences

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Background: Previous research has demonstrated that trust is a crucial construct in both interpersonal relationships in the healthcare setting and adult attachment (Bartholomew and Horowitz, 1991). Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine if there is a relationship between adult attachment styles of patients in a large veteran’s health care system and level of trust with their physicians. Method: Using a quantitative correlational design and convenience sampling the participants in outpatient care areas (the Urgent Care and Primary Care Clinics) of the HCS spent about 15- 20 minutes completing two self-report measures: (a) The Relationship Questionnaire (RQ) and (b) The Trust in Physician Scale (TPS) and a demographic questionnaire. Results: The results demonstrated that secure attachment styles were less trusting, dismissing attachment styles were more trusting, and preoccupied or fearful attachment styles did not show any association with trust totals. Data analysis indicated that there is a relationship between gender and preoccupied attachment scores as well as between race and secure attachment scores in the patients. Conclusion: Data from this study confirmed that there is a correlation between adult attachment styles and the patient provider relationship.