University of Oulu

Kankaala, T., Kaakinen, P., & Anttonen, V. (2022). Self-reported factors for improving patient's dental care: A pilot study. Clinical and Experimental Dental Research, 8, 1284– 1294.

Self-reported factors for improving patient’s dental care : a pilot study

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Author: Kankaala, Taina1,2; Kaakinen, Pirjo3; Anttonen, Vuokko1,4
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Population Health, Department of Cariology, Endodontology and Paediatric Dentistry, University of Oulu, 90014 Univeristy of Oulu, Finland
2Dental Teaching Unit, City of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.9 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-08-31


Objectives: Patient-centered approach can offer valuable information in improving dental care, but literature is scarce. This study aimed to evaluate self-reported factors beneficial for attendance in dental care.

Material and Methods: Survey data were collected during the summer of 2020 comprising both structured questionnaires and an open question on factors considered beneficial for dental attendance. Voluntary patients over 15 years of age (n = 196, 98%) agreed to fill the questionnaires, and n = 112 of them (57%) also gave open commentary in an urgent dental care clinic, City of Oulu, Finland, comprising the study population. Dental fear was assessed by Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS) sum scores (min 5, max 25). All utterances (n = 181) on an open question were evaluated by inductive content analysis to create sub- and main categories. Covid-19 pandemic case counts in Finland were low at the time of the survey, but their effect on seeking dental care was asked. The distribution of patients was evaluated by cross-tabulation, considering their age, gender, and dental fear status; the significance level was p < .05.

Results: Females dominated slightly the study population (57%). The mean age of the respondents was 44 years. Half (50%) had moderate (MDAS score 10−18), and 10% had severe dental fear (≥19). The open responses could be categorized into four main categories. The largest main category by patient count concerned factors related to personnel (29%), followed by the patient (28%) and treatment (25%) related, and administrative factors (19%). Males chose factors falling into categories of administration and treatment while females chose patient and personnel-related factors (p = .048). Compared to the rest, fearful persons (MDAS > 9) reported more often factors related to personnel and treatment (p = .03). Of all participants, 17% reported seeking less dental care during the pandemic.

Conclusions: Patients value dental personnel and treatment-related factors, specifically those with fear.

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Series: Clinical and experimental dental research
ISSN: 2057-4347
ISSN-E: 2057-4347
ISSN-L: 2057-4347
Volume: 8
Issue: 5
Pages: 1284 - 1294
DOI: 10.1002/cre2.625
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 316 Nursing
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. Clinical and Experimental Dental Research published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.