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Patient satisfaction with care by dental therapists

Sun, N.; Burnside, G. and Harris, R. (2010) Patient satisfaction with care by dental therapists. British Dental Journal, 208 . Article Number: E9. ISSN 1476-5373 (Online); 0007-0610 (Print)

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Introduction: Patient reported outcomes of care are increasingly used as a measure of the quality of care. There has been a recent expansion in the number of dental therapists trained in the UK, and with legislation now permitting therapists to take on a wide role in dental practice, patients’ perceptions about quality of care provided by therapists is an important issue. Objectives: To investigate whether there were any differences in patient satisfaction after a visit to a therapist, compared to a visit to a dentist. Method: A 10-item scale of patient satisfaction (Dental Visit Satisfaction Scale), which provides an outcome measure of overall patient satisfaction as well as three sub-scale outcomes (information-communication; understanding-acceptance; technical competence) was used. A total of 240 questionnaires were given to consecutive patients attending an appointment with a therapist and 400 questionnaires were given to patients attending dentists, in eight different dental practices. Results: 431 (67.3%) questionnaires were returned. Patients attending therapists were found to have a significantly higher level of overall satisfaction (p<0.001) and also in all three sub-scales (p<0.001), than those attending appointments with dentists. Conclusion: Although a clear distinction in patient satisfaction according to the type of provider was found, the reasons behind this finding are unclear, and so care needs to be taken in interpreting the results, with further work undertaken to explore this phenomenon more fully.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Issue number: 5. Published online: 13 March 2010. 7 pages. Published by Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Patient satisfaction; dental therapist; communication; technical competence; acceptance
Subjects:R Medicine > RK Dentistry
Departments, Research Centres and Related Units:Academic Faculties, Institutes and Research Centres > Faculty of Medicine > School of Dental Sciences
Publisher's Statement:© 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. This article was first published in Sun, N.; Burnside, G. and Harris, R. (2010) Patient satisfaction with care by dental therapists. British Dental Journal, 208 . Article Number: E9.
ID Code:1206
Deposited On:19 Oct 2010 16:08
Last Modified:04 Apr 2012 15:43

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