Caregivers' Level of Trust in Their Children's Health Care Providers

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Trust in healthcare providers is associated with clinical outcomes among adult patients. Children with disabilities have complex health needs that place stress on caregivers. Consequently, they are increasingly likely to rely on their children's health care providers to ensure children's health care needs are met. However, no studies have explored factors affecting caregivers' trust in their children's providers. We assessed caregivers' trust in their children's providers and identified predictive factors of trust. The results indicate that children's disability condition, functional status, age, the providers' specialty, and the type of health care plan are significant predicators of caregiver's trust. Specifically, caregivers of children with emotional/behavioral disabilities and children with poor physical or emotional/behavioral functioning reported less trust in their children's providers compared to caregivers of children without physical disabilities or no disability and those having higher levels of physical or emotional/behavioral functioning. In addition, caregivers of younger children had more trust compared to caregivers of older children. Caregivers of children enrolled in a managed care plan for physical health care reported less trust compared to caregivers of children in other organizational arrangements. Finally, caregivers reported more trust in physical health providers compared to mental health providers.

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