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ORIGINAL RESEARCH Table of Contents   
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 78-81
A study of the reasons for irregular dental attendance in a private dental college in a rural setup


1 Dental Centre, King Fahd Hospital, Medina Al Munawarra, Saudi Arabia
2 Dept. of Community Dentistry, Rural Dental College and Hospital, PIMS, Loni, Maharashtra, India

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Date of Submission30-Mar-2006
Date of Decision13-Dec-2006
Date of Acceptance17-Jan-2007
 

   Abstract 

The mouth is regarded as a mirror and the gateway to health. Integration is required between the dental practitioner and the patient, if good dental health is to be attained. Various treatment modalities of late frequently require appointments, which are more than one in number for completion of the entire treatment program. This study was taken up to determine the impact of reported dental attendance patterns of patients on the oral health and treatment quality in teaching hospitals and also on the quality of life in rural areas. Aims and Objectives: 1. To assess the reasons for irregular dental care in the patients attending the clinics in teaching hospitals. 2. To assess the satisfaction of the patient as regards the treatment rendered in the teaching institutes. 3. To correlate the gender of the patient with the regularity in the recall attendance. Materials and Methods: A hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted using a systematic random sampling method, and every alternate subject was selected from the patients attending the OPD of Department of Periodontics and Community Dentistry. The data was collected using the interview method with the help of a structured, pretested questionnaire. Results and Conclusion: Out of 288 patients, 94 failed to attend the recall appointments. In these 94 patients, various reasons for not attending recall were assessed, and lack of time was found to be the most common reason for non-attendance. Relationship between age and reasons for not reporting was found to be significant ( P < 0.01). Patient satisfaction survey showed that 51.54% of the patients were satisfied with the dental treatment rendered. The present study also showed that males are more prompt in attending recall appointments as compared to females. A positive and significant correlation between literacy and patient reporting status was found ( P < 0.01).

Keywords: Follow-up care, recall appointments

How to cite this article:
George AC, Hoshing A, Joshi NV. A study of the reasons for irregular dental attendance in a private dental college in a rural setup. Indian J Dent Res 2007;18:78-81

How to cite this URL:
George AC, Hoshing A, Joshi NV. A study of the reasons for irregular dental attendance in a private dental college in a rural setup. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2007 [cited 2014 Oct 23];18:78-81. Available from: http://www.ijdr.in/text.asp?2007/18/2/78/32425

   Introduction Top


Health is a fundamental human right and a universal human need that is same for people from all cultures and walks of life. General health cannot be attained or maintained without oral health.

The mouth is regarded as a mirror and the gateway to health. Integration is required between the dental practitioner and the patient, if good dental health is to be attained. The various treatment modalities of late frequently require appointments, which are more than one in number for completion of the entire treatment program.

There is reason to believe that the treatment performed by the therapist and the motivational environment provided by the appointment are necessary for good treatment results. Therefore, the success of the treatment is dependent upon the recall program, which in turn is dependent on whether the dentist and the patient keep their respective appointments.

This study was taken up to determine the impact of reported dental attendance patterns of patients on the oral health and treatment quality in teaching hospitals and also on the quality of life in rural areas. This study also looks at the satisfaction of the patients with the treatment rendered and their attitudes towards different treatment considerations.

This study also aims to determine the overall trust in the dental profession and practice and the respect for the attitudes of dental teams, with a reason to counter mistrust if provided.

The patient involvement in care concept is 'looking into with a hope that the patient recognizes that treatment alternatives exist and the patient has the right to choose (and to choose to have no treatment at all).' 'When you are a hammer,' goes the saying, 'everything looks like a nail' - a concept which is well suited to current specialization practice.


   Aims and Objectives Top


  1. To assess the reasons for irregular dental care in the patients attending the clinics in teaching hospitals.
  2. To assess the satisfaction of the patient as regards the treatment rendered in the teaching institutes.
  3. To correlate the gender of the patient with the regularity in the recall attendance.



   Materials and Methods Top


A hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted using a systematic random sampling method, and every alternate subject was selected from the patients attending the OPD of Department of Periodontics and Community Dentistry. A total of 288 patients in the age group of 15 and above were examined over a period of 6 months (August 2003-January 2004). Out of these, 18 patients (6.25%) were not recalled for treatment as their treatment was completed in the first sitting (appointment) itself; hence the final sample size was 270 for analysis.

A structured, pretested questionnaire was employed to collect the data from selected patients using the interview method. Upon completion, the questionnaires were collected and the data was analyzed. No incentive, financial or otherwise, was offered to the participants for filling the questionnaire. The items in the questionnaire consisted of demographic questions (age, gender). Along with this the participants were asked about their perceptions of importance of dental care. Major emphasis was laid on finding out the reasons for not attending follow-up visits.[Table - 7]


   Results Top


Socio-demographic features of the patients, distribution of patients according to recall attendance, reasons for not attending recall, gender-wise reporting status of patients, correlation between age and reasons for not reporting, and correlation between literacy and reporting status are tabulated [Table - 1],[Table - 2],[Table - 3],[Table - 4],[Table - 5],[Table - 6].


   Discussion Top


The goal of this project was to identify the reasons for irregular attendance among patients from rural background. In the present study, it was seen that the percentage of people who attended recall appointments was significantly higher than that of those who did not. According to one study, out of approximately 1,000 patients followed for up to 8 years, only 16% complied with suggested maintenance intervals and 34% never came back for maintenance, while the rest compiled erratically.[1] It was found that lack of time was the most common reason for non-attendance. A similar result was seen by Quetish Taani et al. in their two studies.[2],[3]

Fear is a major reason for noncompliance in dentistry,[4],[5],[6],[7],[8] which is in contrast to the present study.

The present study showed that 176 (65.18%) attended recall visits regularly. Most of the surveys show that less than 60% of the population visit dentists regularly.[9] A study by Qutitesh Taani et al.[3] among young adults showed that only 20.9% of the population were regular, while 79.1% were irregular in attending recall appointments.

The present study also showed that amongst the patients who did not attend the recall appointment, 66 (70.21%) were males and 28 (29.79%) were females. However, Chi-square test showed a nonsignificant association between gender of the patients and reporting status - Chi-square X 2 = 1.84, P > 0.05, i.e., not significant. Liddel et al.[8] in their study did not find any difference with respect to non-attendance between males and females, whereas Sogaard et al.[10] found that 17.4% of dentate women and 21.7% of men reported visiting the dentist less than once a year. Age of the patients was found to be significantly associated with the reporting status - Chi-square X 2 = 43.754, P < 0.01.

In the present study, it was also analyzed whether the patients were satisfied with the treatment rendered to them, and it was found that 51.54% of the patients were satisfied while 48.45% of them were not satisfied with the dental treatment given to them. In this study, it was also evident that education plays an important role in patients' compliance[11],[12] (Chi-square X 2 = 71.37, P < 0.01).


   Summary and Conclusion Top


A. This study was carried out to study the reasons for irregular attendance amongst patients who had been called for subsequent appointments.

B. The results of the present study showed that 65.18% of the patients attended recall appointments, while 43.81% of patients did not attend recall appointments.

C. It was concluded that the patients who did not attend quoted 'lack of time' as their primary reason.

D. Patient satisfaction survey showed that 51.54% of the patients were satisfied with the dental treatment rendered.

E. The present study also showed that males are more prompt in attending recall appointments as compared to females.

F. Education and age of the patients play an important role in patients' compliance.


   Acknowledgment Top


Prof. K. V. Somasundaram, Dept. of Bioinformatics. Dr. Sarita Patil, Lecturer, Dept. of Periodontology.

 
   References Top

1.Wison TG Jr, Glover ME, Schoen J, Baus C, Jacobs T. Compliance with maintenance therapy in a private periodontal practice. J Periodontol 1984;55:468-73.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Quteish Taani DS. Dental anxiety and regularity of dental attendance in younger adults. J Oral Rehabil 2002;29:604-8.  Back to cited text no. 2  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
3.Quteish Taani DS. Dental fear among a young adult Saudian population. Int Dent J 2001;51:62-6.  Back to cited text no. 3  [PUBMED]  
4.Friedson E, Feldman JJ. The public looks at dental care. J Am Dent Assoc 1958;57:325-35.   Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Gale EN, Ayer WA. Treatment of dental phobias. J Am Dent Assoc 1969;78:1304-7.  Back to cited text no. 5  [PUBMED]  
6.Gatchel RJ, Ingersoll BD, Bowman L, Robertson MC, Walker C. The prevalence of dental fear and avoidance: A recent survey study. J Am Dent assoc 1983;107:609-10.  Back to cited text no. 6  [PUBMED]  
7.Klepac RK. Successful treatment of avoidance of dentistry by desensitization or by increasing pain tolerance. Behav Ther Exp Psychiatr 1975;6:307.  Back to cited text no. 7    
8.Liddel A, May B. Some characteristics of regular and irregular attenders for dental check-ups. Br J Clin Psycho 1984;23:19-26.  Back to cited text no. 8    
9.Smyth JS. Some problems of dental treatment. Part 2. Treatment avoidance: Some differences between regular and irregular patients. Aus Dent J 1994;39:50-4.  Back to cited text no. 9    
10.Sogaard AJ, Aaro LE, Heloe LA. Irregular users of dental services among Norwegian adults. Acta Odontol Scand 1987;45:371-81.  Back to cited text no. 10  [PUBMED]  
11.Heaton L, Smith TA, Raybould TP. Factors influencing use of dental services in rural and urban communities: Considerations for practitioners in underserved areas. J Dent Education 2004;68:1081-9.  Back to cited text no. 11    
12.Fardal O. Interviews and assessments of returning non-compliant periodontal maintenance patients. J Clin Periodontol 2006;33:216-20.  Back to cited text no. 12  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]

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Correspondence Address:
Nilesh V Joshi
Dept. of Community Dentistry, Rural Dental College and Hospital, PIMS, Loni, Maharashtra
India
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DOI: 10.4103/0970-9290.32425

PMID: 17502713

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    Tables

  [Table - 1], [Table - 2], [Table - 3], [Table - 4], [Table - 5], [Table - 6], [Table - 7]

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    Abstract
    Introduction
    Aims and Objectives
    Materials and Me...
    Results
    Discussion
    Summary and Conc...
    Acknowledgment
    References
    Article Tables

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