Trust in the health system

An analysis and extension of the social theories of Giddens and Luhmann

Samantha Meyer*, Paul Ward, John Coveney, Wendy Rogers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Citations (Scopus)


Social theory provides a lens through we can analyse the role of trust in health systems. However, the majority of theoretically informed trust literature addresses 'institutional or 'interpersonal' trust individually, failing to investigate trust as determined by a 'web' of mutually interacting relationships between individuals and social systems. Current theoretical assumptions are also problematic as they fail to recognise the role that social factors (such as socio-economic status, class and age) play in an individual's willingness to trust. Through the analysis and critique of existing social theories of trust, this paper demonstrates a need for further empirical research into the multidimensionality of trusting relationships, while suggesting new directions for research in public health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-186
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Sociology Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Giddens
  • Health system
  • Luhmann
  • Social theory
  • Sociology
  • Trust

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Trust in the health system: An analysis and extension of the social theories of Giddens and Luhmann'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this