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General dental practices with and without a dental therapist: a survey of appointment activities and patient satisfaction with their care.

Barnes, Emma, Bullock, Alison Deborah, Cowpe, Jonathan, Moons, Kirstie, Warren, Wendy, Bale, Susan, Chestnutt, Ivor G., Hannington, David, Allen, Michael and Negrotti, Ceri 2018. General dental practices with and without a dental therapist: a survey of appointment activities and patient satisfaction with their care. British Dental Journal 225 , pp. 53-58. 10.1038/sj.bdj.2018.522

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Abstract

Introduction Policy changes regarding the role of Dental Hygienist-Therapists (DTs) have been implemented in recent years with a view to promoting delivery of oral health-care through a more preventive-focused, team work approach. Aims To explore i) treatments led by dentists and DTs, and ii) patients' satisfaction with the care they received. Materials and methods Six case-studies of general dental practices in Wales, UK: three with, and three without a DT. For each participant, a patient-satisfaction questionnaire and a staff-member-completed appointment record form were completed. We sought to recruit 150 patients seeing a dentist and 100 patients seeing a DT, per case-study practice. Results 1,224 patients were recruited in total (314 DT and 910 dentist appointments). Preventive work accounted for nearly half of all treatments. Dentists, in practices with a DT, undertook significantly less preventive and restorative work, and significantly more extractions and advanced treatment (p <0.005, χ² = 15.352). Patient satisfaction and confidence in dentists' or DTs' ability was uniformly high (97% and 99% each group respectively). Conclusion Practices with DTs provided a more preventive-focused approach to oral health-care delivery; dentists in these practices performed more complex work. Positive patient satisfaction and confidence in practitioners' ability suggest patient acceptability of a preventive model.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff Unit for Research and Evaluation in Medical and Dental Education (CUREMeDE)
Dentistry
Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 0007-0610
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 April 2019
Date of Acceptance: 22 January 2018
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2019 20:59
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/108403

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