Attendance Pattern amongst Patients at the Dental Clinic of the University of Nigeria
Objective: Dental clinic attendance is one of the indicators of health behaviour which will ultimately impact on the oral health. This study aimed at determining the patients' attendance pattern and the reasons for attendance at the Dental clinic of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu.
Methods: A retrospective study was done using the record book of the Oral Diagnosis unit of the Dental clinic in UNTH. Data on patients' age, gender, presenting complaint(s) at first visit were obtained from these books. Patients with incomplete records were omitted. The data were analysed statistically using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (version 15); frequencies of all relevant variables were generated and Chi-square test was used to compare categorical variables at p < 0.05.
Results: Data of 1663 patients with mean age of 33.2 ± 18 years were obtained. Six hundred and eighty six (41.3%) were males while 977 (58.7%) were females; a statistically significant difference was found in the quarterly attendances of males and females (p< 0.05). The 20-29 and the 0-9 years age groups had 36.1% and 6.5% records respectively. Eight hundred and twenty five (49.2%) visited clinic because of pain, 7.6% for swellings in the mouth and 5.7% were without symptom but attended for routine check ups cum professional tooth cleaning.
Conclusion: Asymptomatic dental clinic attendance was not common in this report; attendances were mostly prompted by pain. More females than males attended clinic and the second quarter of the year witnessed the highest turn out of patients.