Gaps in trust in the healthcare industry between men and women, as well as between the general public and informed public, are getting wider, according to new data from the Edelman Trust Barometer.
Healthcare kept up with other industries with a slight increase in trust, but new data from the report found several disparities. The largest gap between men and women is in the U.S., where 53% of women trust the healthcare industry versus 69% of men. There is also a 10-point gap between the informed public, defined as college educated, within the top 25% of income and regular consumers of public policy and business news, and the mass population in healthcare trust.
Healthcare also lags in trust with its own employees. Other industries benefited from increased trust from the people who work there, but healthcare employees don’t trust the industry much more than non-employees. There was only a three-point difference between healthcare employees’ trust (71%) and the general population’s (68%) in the industry. Other industries like energy, financial services, fashion and automotive have double-digit trust differences between employees and the general public.
The hospital and clinic sector of the healthcare industry saw a slight decline in trust, while other parts such as pharma, consumer health, insurance and biotech and life sciences, saw increases. All of the changes were modest, with the increases moving only one or two percentage points; hospital trust declined just one point.
The pharma industry continued to suffer from trust issues globally, according to Edelman. Only 10 of the 26 markets surveyed expressed trust in pharma companies, and only 44% of people in the U.S. did so.
Other sectors of healthcare fared better. In the U.S., 63% of respondents said they trust hospitals, 54% trust insurance, 63% trust consumer health and 58% trust biotech and life sciences companies. Health tech also had a high trust level, with 74% trusting it overall and 76% saying “it will make life better for people like me.”
As trust in the media has waned, people are relying more on owned media. In healthcare, 68% trust information provided by health companies about medical conditions and their treatments, while only 58% trust the media to report accurate information about healthcare.