Skip Navigation U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Agency for Healthcare Research Quality
Archive print banner

Primary Care Research

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to for current information.

Acculturation, length of relationship, and physician ethnicity influence Japanese Americans' trust of doctors

English-speaking and Japanese-speaking Japanese Americans trust their doctors more than Japanese persons living in Japan, according to a recent study supported in part by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (HS07370). Researchers administered a questionnaire assessing trust in their physicians to 539 English-speaking Japanese Americans, 340 Japanese-speaking Japanese Americans, and 304 Japanese living in Japan. They analyzed survey responses to examine the relationship between patient characteristics, religious beliefs, acculturation, physician ethnicity, and changes of physician due to insurance coverage, and the levels of trust these patients had in their physicians.

Greater acculturation, greater religiosity, less desire for autonomy, and longer physician-patient relationships were related to increased trust. Japanese Americans also trusted Japanese physicians more than they trusted other physicians. Survey respondents who did not want to switch physicians but were forced to do so because of insurance coverage reported significantly less trust in their current physicians than in their former physicians. Patients who found the physician change acceptable reported slightly more trust in their new physicians.

See "Trust in one's physician: The role of ethnic match, autonomy, acculturation, and religiosity among Japanese and Japanese Americans," by Derjung M. Tarn, M.D., M.S., Lisa S. Meredith, Ph.D., Marjorie Kagawa-Singer, R.N., Ph.D., and others, in the July 2005 Annals of Family Medicine 3(4), pp. 339-347.

Return to Contents
Proceed to Next Article

The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care