H.C.J.M. de Haes
- How attachment style and locus of control influence patients' trust in their oncologist
- Journal of Psychosomatic Research
- Volume | Issue number
- 76 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
Objective: Cancer patients need to trust their oncologist. How the oncologist communicates probably contributes to patients' trust. Yet, patient characteristics such as their attachment style and health locus of control may influence how such communication is perceived. We examined how these personality characteristics influence trust as well as moderate the relation between oncologist communication and trust.
Methods: Eight videotaped scenarios of an oncologic consultation were created. Oncologist communication was systematically varied regarding their expressed competence, honesty and caring. Cancer patients (n = 345) were randomly assigned to view the videos and report their trust in the observed oncologist. Patients' self-reported attachment style, health locus of control and trust in their own oncologist were assessed.
Results: Patients with a stronger external health locus of control trusted the observed oncologist more (p < .001). Neither attachment avoidance nor attachment anxiety was related to trust in the observed oncologist. However, attachment avoidance moderated the positive effect of the oncologists' communication of caring and honesty on trust: avoidant attachment significantly diminished the effect (p < .011 and p < .044, respectively). High attachment avoidance (p = .003) and attachment anxiety (p < .001) were related to weaker trust in patients' own oncologist.
Discussion: Patients' attachment avoidance may hamper their trust in their own, but not necessarily in a newly observed, oncologist. As expected, patients' attachment style influences how oncologist communication influences trust, underscoring the importance of oncologists tailoring their communication to individual patients. We confirmed observational findings that patients convinced that others control their health trust their oncologist more than others.
- go to publisher's site
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.