Medical Mistrust in Black Breast Cancer Patients: Acknowledging the Roles of the Trustor and the Trustee

Arnethea L. Sutton, Jun He, Megan C. Edmonds, Vanessa B. Sheppard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Studies indicate that Black patients report higher medical mistrust compared to their White counterparts. However, little is known about factors associated with higher medical mistrust among Black breast cancer patients. We examined predictors of medical mistrust and relationships between medical mistrust, subscales of mistrust, and process of care factors to identify opportunities to promote positive healthcare interactions between the trustees (e.g., providers) and Black breast cancer patients, or the trustors. A secondary analysis was conducted of survey data from 210 Black women with confirmed diagnosis of invasive breast cancer. Participants completed telephone surveys consisting of questions pertaining to sociodemographics, attitudes, and beliefs about medical care and breast cancer treatments. Multiple linear regression determined factors associated with medical mistrust and mistrust subscales. Most participants (61%) were over the age of 50 and currently single (64.8%). Women with greater medical mistrust reported less satisfaction with the trustee’s technical ability (p < 0.0001) and greater satisfaction with their own propensity to access care (p < 0.05). Additionally, women with public insurance demonstrated greater mistrust (p < 0.01) and suspicion (p < 0.05) than women with private insurance, and women with less education reported greater perceived discrimination than women who have at least a bachelor’s degree. Findings from this study may inform future endeavors to educate providers on ways to effectively interact with and treat Black breast cancer patients. Opportunities to develop interventions that address and tackle issues of mistrust as reported by Black patients may contribute to ongoing efforts to reduce health disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)600-607
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019


  • African American women
  • Breast cancer
  • Medical mistrust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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