Perception of patients attending a tertiary hospital in Nigeria about good dental practice: A pilot study
Background: Criteria for a good dental practice as expressed by patients have influence on their behavior in terms of compliance with clinical advice, less pain and anxiety and more utilization of dental care.
Objective: To assess the opinion of patients attending the dental clinic of a tertiary hospital Southwestern, Nigeria about their perception of a good dental practice.
Materials and Methods: A 16 item semi‑structured bi‑lingual interviewer‑administered questionnaire comprising socio‑demographic characteristics and 24 criteria of a good dental practice generated by clinicians and patients was administered to 156 patients who were blinded from knowing which criteria were clinicians’ or patients’ criteria. Patients were then asked to pick 12 criteria out of the 24 criteria that they considered of greater priority. Frequency of the most picked criteria in a descending order was determined. Student’s t‑test was used to compare mean scores at P < 0.05.
Results: The mean age of study participants was 36.7 ± 13.8 years. The majority 139 (89.1%) of the study participants ranked ‘‘clinician’s procedure should be as painless as possible’’ as the most important clinician determined criteria of a good dental practice while 31 (19.9%) of them ranked hotlines available for emergencies as the least. The majority 133 (85.2%) of the study participants ranked ‘‘sterile procedure and proper handling of equipment’’ as the most important patient determined criteria of a good dental practice while 30 (19.2%) of them ranked patients being attended by just one clinician as the least. There was a statistically significant difference between mean scores of clinicians’ criteria and patients’ criteria (P = 0.00001), participants ranked more patients’ criteria than clinicians’ criteria.
Conclusion: In determining the criteria for a good dental practice, clinicians’ perspective as well as patients’ perspective should be considered.
Keywords: Clinicians, dental house officers, good dental practice, patients
Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice • Oct-Dec 2013 • Vol 16 • Issue 4