Developing interpersonal trust between service users and professionals in integrated services: Compensating for latent distrust, vulnerabilities and uncertainty shaped by organisational context

Rie Mandrup Poulsen, Kathrine Hoffmann Pii, Lene Falgaard Eplov, Mathias Meijer, Ute Bültmann, Ulla Christensen

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Introduction: Studies show a need for trust between stakeholders in integrated services. However, few studies have investigated how trust develops between stakeholders on a micro-level. In a Danish intersectoral intervention for persons on sick leave due to common mental disorders, we explored why trust is needed and how trust is developed between micro-level stakeholders. Methodology: The qualitative study was based on 12 observations of inter- organisational meetings, 16 interviews with service users, 24 interviews with health care professionals and employment consultants, and 8 interviews with supervisors. The analysis was guided by the theoretical concepts (dis-)trust, vulnerability and uncertainty. Results: Latent distrust between involved organisations, and vulnerabilities and uncertainties related to employment consultants’ statutory power over service users caused a perceived need for interpersonal trust. Time to establish knowledge- based relationships, healthcare professionals’ caring approach, and creating a feeling of sharing interests were compensating trust-building strategies that were often regarded as positive. Discussion and conclusion: Trust in personal relationships between stakeholders appeared to compensate for contextually shaped distrust, vulnerability and uncertainty. Identifying latent distrust, vulnerabilities, uncertainties, and power structures might be key to improving trust-building strategies in a specific context. The time-consuming process of trust-building between micro-level stakeholders should be supported structurally.

TidsskriftInternational Journal of Integrated Care
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)1-13
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - 2021