Introduction Patients vary in their preferences regarding involvement in medical decision-making. Current research does not provide complete explanation for this observed variation. Patient involvement in medical decision-making has been found to be influenced by various mechanisms, one of which could be patients’ trust in physicians. The aim of this study was to examine whether trust in physicians fosters or impairs patient involvement in medical decision-making. This study also aimed to determine to what extent the relationship between trust and preferences regarding decision-making roles was influenced by the sociodemographic characteristics of the patients. We hypothesised that trust can both foster and impair patient involvement in medical decision-making. Materials and methods A survey was sent out to members of the Nivel Dutch Health Care Consumer Panel in February 2016 (response rate = 47%, N = 703). The Wake Forest Physician Trust Scale was used to measure trust. Patient involvement was measured using two items based on the study published by Flynn and colleagues in 2006. Multiple regression analysis was used to analyse the relationship between trust and patient involvement. Results We found a negative relationship between trust and patient involvement in medical decision-making in men. Women with high trust reported to be more involved in medical decision-making compared to men with high trust. Conclusion The results suggest that trust impairs involvement in medical decision-making for men but not for women. Further research could provide a more comprehensive explanation of the variation in patient preferences regarding involvement in medical decision-making to further elucidate which underlying mechanisms could enhance patient participation.
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