Effect of ascent in dental profession on ethical obligation in dental practice
Objective: To determine the effect of transformation from the dental student to the dentist on the knowledge of ethical obligation in dental practice.
Methodology: This longitudinal study was conducted among same group of dental professionals who were graduating dental students of University of Benin and house officers of University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City during the first and second periods in August 2010 and 2012, respectively. Modified Ehigiator, et al, ethical obligation questionnaire was the data collection tool.
Result: The majority of the participants were aged 26-29years with the male:female ratio as 1.9:1 and 1.8:1 in the first and second periods, respectively. There was significant improvement in knowledge of patient identifiable information (p 0.001) and awareness of guideline concerning patient information protection (p 0.001).There was non-significant improvement in knowledge of confidential patient information security (p 0.049). The improvement in knowledge of custodian of hospital care notes (p 0.006), storage of hospital care notes (p 0.001) and patient right to a copy of the case note (p 0.015), were also significant. There was significant improvement and decline in knowledge of disclosure of underage patient information to parent/guardian (p 0.012) and disclosure of patient information to security agents (p 0.020), respectively. There was a non-significant improvement in knowledge of disclosure of adult patient information to parent/guardian (p 0.927) and positive HIV status of patient to partner (p 0.400).
Conclusion: Data revealed that the transformation resulted in significant improvement in the knowledge of 6 out of the 13 assessed areas of ethical obligation in dental practice.
Keywords: Confidentiality, dentist, ethical obligation, knowledge, student