Interlocking Doctor-Patient Trust in Patient-Hood: A Gender Perspective Among Mental Health Care Users

Kamarunzaman NZ, Selamat NH Hj


This article aims at exploring the trust establishment among patients with depression during their journey to psychiatric patient-hood. This study was undertaken in government hospital involving 29 psychiatric outpatient users in Kedah and Pulau Pinang respectively using phenomenological study and gender lens. Semi-structured in-depth interview and non-participant observation were the tools used in data collection. The data explicated with the aid of a qualitative data analysis tool, Atlas.ti., version 7.5. Through the findings, the study identified “Trust” appears critical in the accounts of the patients in shaping the doctor-patient relationship. Five interlocking subthemes describing the health professional’s characteristic while giving the service include doctor’s integrity, concern, competencies, empathy, and autonomy enabler. The findings had highlighted that both female and male physicians had different approach to their patients, where the female physician had better chances in getting the mandate of trust. This research is useful to health professionals and governance of mental health care to fulfil the patients’ needs based on their genders.

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Trust; Doctor-Patient Relationship; Compliance; Psychiatric Ssers; Depression

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