Effect of past dental treatment experience on patient attitude towards follow up oral health care intervention
Objective: To determine the influence of past dental treatment experience on patients’ attitude towards follow-up oral health care intervention.
Study design: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study.
Clinical setting: The University of Nairobi Dental Hospital.
Participants: Patients aged 18 and above with history of at least one past dental visit.
Methods: A total of 188 patients were interviewed. Data on past dental experiences, attitude towards follow up oral health care and dental anxiety among the participants was collected using closed-ended, self-administered questionnaires. The visual analogue scale and modified dental anxiety scale were used to measure pain intensity and dental anxiety.
Results: Dental check-up was the procedure received by the highest number of participants in the study, 117(62.2%). It was also the procedure with the highest number of pleasant experiences, 104 (88.8%). Extractions was the treatment procedure with the highest percentage of unpleasant experiences (65.4%). Pain was the most commonly encountered post-treatment complication as reported by
115(61.2%) patients. Patients with pleasant past dental experiences were more likely to have a positive attitude towards follow up oral healthcare intervention (X2 = 10.956, P=0.001) whereas patients with any level of dental anxiety were less likely to have a positive attitude (X2 = 4.395, p = 0.036).
Conclusion: Patient’s attitude towards follow-up oral health care intervention is influenced by their experience during and after dental treatment and their level of dental anxiety. Presence of post treatment complications was identified as a common cause of unpleasant treatment experience.