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The estimation of patients' views of organizational aspects of a general dental practice by general dental practitioners: a survey study
BMC Health Services Research 2011,
Considering the changes in dental healthcare, such as the increasing
assertiveness of patients, the introduction of new dental professionals,
and regulated competition, it becomes more important that general
dental practitioners (GDPs) take patients' views into account. The aim
of the study was to compare patients' views on organizational aspects of
general dental practices with those of GDPs and with GDPs' estimation
of patients' views.
In a survey study, patients and GDPs provided their views on
organizational aspects of a general dental practice. In a second,
separate survey, GDPs were invited to estimate patients' views on 22
organizational aspects of a general dental practice.
For 4 of the 22 aspects, patients and GDPs had the same views, and
GDPs estimated patients' views reasonably well: 'Dutch-speaking GDP',
'guarantee on treatment', 'treatment by the same GDP', and 'reminder of
routine oral examination'. For 2 aspects ('quality assessment' and
'accessibility for disabled patients') patients and GDPs had the same
standards, although the GDPs underestimated the patients' standards.
Patients had higher standards than GDPs for 7 aspects and lower
standards than GDPs for 8 aspects.
On most aspects GDPs and patient have different views, except for
social desirable aspects. Given the increasing assertiveness of
patients, it is startling the GDP's estimated only half of the patients'
views correctly. The findings of the study can assist GDPs in adapting
their organizational services to better meet the preferences of their
patients and to improve the communication towards patients.