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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 25-31

Patients’ perception towards comprehensive model of dental care delivery at a teaching institute of Saudi Arabia


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Diagnostic Sciences and Oral Biology, College of Dentistry, King Khalid University, Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 Dental Intern, College of Dentistry, King Khalid University, Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Date of Web Publication13-Aug-2020

Correspondence Address:
MDS Mohammad Shahul Hameed
Post Box. 3263, Abha-61471
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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  Abstract 


Objective: To evaluate patients’ perception and satisfaction with regard to the treatment provided by final year dental students enrolled in comprehensive care courses at King Khalid University College of Dentistry Clinics, Saudi Arabia. Methods: A total of 120 patients (mean age, 28.3 years; age range, 15–57 years) who underwent comprehensive dental treatment provided by final year dental students were enrolled in the study. A questionnaire designed in English and Arabic was employed, and the level of patient satisfaction was evaluated using a five-point Likert scale ranging from 1 to 5 (strongly agree, agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree, and strongly disagree). Results: The majority of the patients (>90%) appeared to be satisfied with the attitude, cheerful disposition, and competency of the dental students. More than 75% of the patients were satisfied with the manner in which the procedures were performed (painless and adequate infection control). Nonetheless, a proportion (25%) of the patients was dissatisfied with the time taken for the treatment procedures and facilities provided at the hospital. Conclusion: Most of the patients were happy with the services provided by the final year dental students at the clinic. However, addressing issues such as waiting time, appearance of waiting area, and time taken for the dental procedures may help improve the perception and satisfaction of the patients with regard to the services provided at our college.

Keywords: Perception; Satisfaction; Comprehensive; Dental care


How to cite this article:
Hameed MS, Dawasaz AA, Altali KM, Almazni MS, Asirri MA, Ali Alqhtani AS. Patients’ perception towards comprehensive model of dental care delivery at a teaching institute of Saudi Arabia. King Khalid Univ J Health Scii 2019;4:25-31

How to cite this URL:
Hameed MS, Dawasaz AA, Altali KM, Almazni MS, Asirri MA, Ali Alqhtani AS. Patients’ perception towards comprehensive model of dental care delivery at a teaching institute of Saudi Arabia. King Khalid Univ J Health Scii [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Oct 26];4:25-31. Available from: https://www.kkujhs.org/text.asp?2019/4/2/25/292035




  Introduction Top


Patient satisfaction with healthcare is considered as one of the main aims and prerequisites of quality care.[1] It is a measure that may be used to assess the quality of care provided, the relationship between the patient and the care provider, and the various models of health care delivery.[2]



However, it is important to be aware of the multidimensional aspect of patient satisfaction, wherein technical competence, interpersonal relationships, accessibility and availability of services, expenses, and facilities are some of the components that influence the opinion and satisfaction of the patient.[3],[4]

Clinical experience is one of the most important aspects of dental education. It creates opportunities for dental students to learn about patient-dentist relationships and develop the required skills under a comprehensive care system. The key factors that contribute to the attraction of patients to clinics in teaching hospitals include their understanding of the dental care provided to them and the reduction of barriers such as lack of confidence and appointment schedules. Satisfying the needs of patients is critical for the provision of quality healthcare.

Several studies have evaluated patient satisfaction with dental services worldwide.[5],[6],[7] However, reports on the levels of patient satisfaction with dental care provided by dental students are scarce.[5],[8],[9],[10]

CC1 is a 14-week comprehensive care course, wherein each student is required to take up two cases and provide comprehensive treatment related to periodontics [scaling, polishing, and curettage), operative dentistry (tooth-colored restorations), endodontics (root canal treatment for premolars and incisors) and prosthodontics (single crowns). Students enrolling in CC2 (14 weeks) are required to take up two cases and provide comprehensive treatments such as fixed and partial dentures, post and core, laminates, crown lengthening, and surgical extractions of impacted teeth. The principal aim of this study was to evaluate patients’ perception and satisfaction with regard to the comprehensive treatment provided by final year dental students enrolled in comprehensive care courses [CC1 and CC2) at King Khalid University College of Dentistry Clinics, Saudi Arabia. In addition, we have attempted to develop a mechanism to evaluate the training of dental students.


  Material and Methods Top


The Ethical Clearance Committee, King Khalid University, College of Dentistry, Abha, Saudi Arabia, approved this study (Approval number-SRC/ETH/2016-17/025). Informed consent was obtained from all participants or their guardians prior to enrollment.

Patients who had received comprehensive dental care provided by final year dental students within one year prior to the start of this study were included. A survey questionnaire regarding patients’ perception and satisfaction was designed in English and Arabic. The treated patients were contacted through telephone or personally and explained about the study. Participation was purely voluntary and without any preconditions. Patients, who did not finish the treatment or declined to participate, were not included in this study.

Total number of students enrolled in CC1 and CC2 was approximately 70. Required information was collected from the patients via a self-administered questionnaire. The level of patient satisfaction was evaluated using a five-point Likert scale ranging from 1 to 5 (strongly agree, agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree, and strongly disagree).


  Results Top


A total of 120 patients (mean age, 28.3 years; age range, 15–57 years) who underwent comprehensive dental treatment provided by final year dental students had responded to the questionnaire. More number of male patients enrolled as compared to females [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Male to female ratio of patient participation

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The questionnaire comprised of 21 questions related to patient-dentist communication [Table 1], technical competency of the dentist [Table 2], and managerial efficiency and clinical arrangement [Table 3]. The majority of the patients appeared to be satisfied with the attitude (98.3%) and cheerful disposition (95.8%) of the dentist [Table 1]. In addition, 90% of the patients felt confident about the skill and knowledge of the dentist and the opportunity to ask questions related to the procedure. Likewise, a majority of the patients (92.5%) agreed that the procedures were explained to them in details by the dentist; however, the proportion of patients who disagreed and strongly disagreed with the fact that all procedures were conducted by one dentist was greater than 30%, while 12.5% of the patients chose the neutral option.
Table 1: Patients perception and satisfaction regarding dentist communication and interaction

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Table 2: Patients perception and satisfaction with technical competency of the dentist

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Table 3: Patients Perception & satisfaction with administrative efficiency & clinic environment setup

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With regard to patients’ perception and satisfaction towards technical competencies of the dental students [Table 2], a major proportion of them were content with the treatment (95%) and attention provided by the dentist (94.2%). The majority of them (>75%) were satisfied with the manner in which the procedures were performed; nonetheless, more than 25% of the patients expressed neutral to dissatisfied feelings for the time taken for the treatment procedures [Table 2]. Approximately 75% of the patients expressed satisfaction with the facilities provided at the hospital [Table 3].


  Discussion Top


One of the most important aspect in the clinical setting is related with patient satisfaction and the quality of care provided by health care providers. Several studies have been conducted with regard to this in the field of dentistry. Patients’ perception towards treatment provided by dental undergraduate students has also been reported in some studies worldwide. In the present study, patients’ perception and satisfaction with the dental care provided by final year dental students enrolled for CC1 and CC2 at the King Khalid University College of Dentistry Clinics, Saudi Arabia were evaluated.

Patient satisfaction is not easy to define or measure, and is influenced by both the patient and the health care provider.[11] Furthermore, the quality of health care provided depends on the type of treatment performed and the interactions between the patient and the health care provider.[11],[12] This study evaluated three major factors (patient-dentist communication, practical capability, and managerial efficiency and clinical structure) to evaluate patients’ satisfaction or dissatisfaction with dental services.[12] The majority of the patients in this study expressed satisfaction towards the behavior and attitude of the dentist (98.3%). Interpersonal relationship between the dentist and the patient has been reported as a major factor that influences patient satisfaction.[13],[14],[15] Appropriate communication with the patient involves effective conversations, wherein the dentist is required to listen to the patient, provide them with information regarding the treatment procedure and their outcomes, and allow them with enough time to make decisions.[16],[17] A recent study conducted in England surveying the general perspectives of public’s views on the quality of dental care provided reported that good interactive communication, courtesy, and being made to feel relaxed were the most important swaying factors.[18] A recent review by Waylen A (2017)[19] has also corroborated these findings. Similar to the study by Mahrous et al (2012),[9] the majority of the patients in the current study were satisfied with the cheerful disposition of the dentist, and were in agreement that the procedures were explained to them in detail. Likewise, the patients were content with the opportunity to discuss the procedure with their dentist. Taken together, these findings indicate the overall satisfaction of the patients with the questions in the patient-dentist domain. However, a proportion of patients expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that all procedures were not conducted by one dentist. The patient develops a rapport with and a sense of confidence in a particular dentist during the course of the treatment. Thus, being treated by a different dentist midway may affect the patients’ perception and satisfaction with the service provided.

The majority of the patients were pleased with the practical capability of the dentist indicating that they were satisfied with the type and quality of the treatment provided and the manner in which the procedures were performed (painless, adequate infection control). This is not in accordance with the findings of some previously conducted studies.[9],[20] Furthermore, a major proportion of the patients in the current study had no qualms about being treated by a dental student. However, more than 25% of the patients expressed neutral to dissatisfied feelings for the time taken for the treatment procedures, a finding that has been reported previously.[21],[22] On the contrary, in a recent study conducted in a dental hospital in India, the majority of the patients expressed satisfaction with the timely manner in which the dental treatment was performed.[6] The proportion of patients (65.8%) did not feel obliged to be treated by a dental student in the present study. This was higher as compared to 24.1% reported by Mahrous et al (2012).[9]

Less than 75% of the patients were content with the waiting time and waiting area at the College of Dentistry in this study. Several studies have reported the influence of waiting time on the satisfaction levels of patients undergoing treatment.[15],[18],[22] A quasi-experimental study conducted in a Midwestern dental school in the United States reported that patients’ satisfaction is negatively affected by prolonged waiting times before a dental procedure.[23] In another study conducted in a dental college in Saudi Arabia, waiting time and time taken to complete the dental procedure were found to cause dissatisfaction among the patients.[24]

Dental school clinics need to find a harmony between meeting the treatment necessities of the patient and the educational needs of the students.[21] Even so, patient satisfaction takes precedence, and must be prioritized.


  Conclusion Top


Within the limitations of this study, we may conclude that most of the patients were satisfied with the services provided by the final year dental students at the King Khalid University College of Dentistry Clinics, Saudi Arabia. The patients demonstrated satisfaction towards the attitude and interpersonal skills of the dental students, quality of treatment provided, and technical competencies of the dental students in general. Alternatively, waiting time, appearance of waiting area, and time taken for the dental procedures appeared to be the weak points based on this survey. Thus, focusing on these points and addressing the issues of the patients may help improve patient perception and satisfaction with the services provided at the clinic.

Acknowledgement

The authors would like to acknowledge the dental patients at King Khalid University, College of Dentistry for participating in this study.

Conflict of interests

The authors report no conflict of interest.



 
  References Top

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    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]



 

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