time in waiting rooms prior to dental visits is not uncommon for dental
hygiene patients. The objectives were to determine if the length of a
patients' waiting time affected their satisfaction with the appointment
and their evaluation of their provider. In addition, the patient's level
of education and whether the dental visit is a first visit will be
examined to determine if these affected the outcome.
data were collected from 399 adult patients who came for regularly
scheduled visits to a dental school clinic. The patients ranged in age
from 19 to 93 years (mean=52 years; SD=16.9). For 29% of the patients,
this visit was the first visit with this provider.
patients whose providers were early (n=65) were more satisfied, more
likely to plan to follow their provider's recommendation and evaluated
their relationship with their provider more positively than patients
whose providers were on time (n=283), while the patients in the "late"
group (n=32) showed the most negative responses to all questions.
Patients from higher educational backgrounds were most negative in their
responses when their providers were late. Patients with a first visit
whose providers were late had the most negative evaluations of the
waiting times prior to a scheduled dental appointment have a negative
effect on patients' satisfaction with their visit, the evaluations of
the patient-provider relationship and the patients' intentions to