|Year : 2014 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 297-301
Patient satisfaction with the dental services offered by a dental Hospital in India
N Nagappan1, Joseph John2
1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Chettinad Dental College and Research Institute, Kelambakkam, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Saveetha Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Date of Web Publication||24-Dec-2014|
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Chettinad Dental College and Research Institute, Rajiv Gandhi Salai, Kelambakkam, Chennai 603 103, Tamil Nadu
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Introduction: A major component of quality of health care is patient satisfaction. Patient satisfaction is multifaceted and a very challenging outcome to define. Patient expectations of care and attitudes greatly contribute to the satisfaction; other psychosocial factors, including facilities and treatments services are also known to contribute to patient satisfaction scores. Aim: To measure patient satisfaction about facilities, services and treatments offered by a dental hospital in India. Materials and Methods: Self administrated questionnaire was distributed to outpatients reporting to the dental hospital for treatment. The questionnaire consisted of 30 items that included information about personal data of the patients and their satisfaction with the facilities, services and treatment received in the hospital. Results: About 89.9% of patients felt that the cost of dental hygiene services were reasonable, 57.6% of patients felt that drinking water facilities were enough in the hospital, 31.9% of patients felt that they have problem with scheduling appointments, 86% of patients felt that they had problem in contacting student dentist. Conclusion: The majority of the patients were satisfied with the facilities, services and treatment received at hospital except for facilities such as water supply and scheduling appointments with patient convenience.
Keywords: Dental care, dental survey, patient satisfaction
|How to cite this article:|
Nagappan N, John J. Patient satisfaction with the dental services offered by a dental Hospital in India
. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2014;12:297-301
|How to cite this URL:|
Nagappan N, John J. Patient satisfaction with the dental services offered by a dental Hospital in India
. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent [serial online] 2014 [cited 2018 Dec 16];12:297-301. Available from: http://www.jiaphd.org/text.asp?2014/12/4/297/147669
| Introduction|| |
Patient satisfaction with dental care is an important aspect of the quality of care and will influence the future utilization of the service. , It is, therefore, an essential element in assessing the quality of care. A major issue for careful monitoring of satisfaction is recognition of the complex relationship between patients' views of the health care system and their health and illness behavior.  Dentist-patient interactions during a consultation, including cognitive and emotional aspects, have been demonstrated to affect patient compliance with clinical advice and follow-up visits. 
Chung et al. suggested factors that directly affect willingness to visit a hospital again are expectation level toward a hospital, reliability of the medical care, accessibility to the diagnosis, expenses for diagnosis and patients' satisfaction level.  The role of dental specialists is important to improve the quality of dental service and to increase patients' satisfaction level, willingness to use the service once again, and to refer the service to others.
At present, there are 294 dental colleges throughout India producing nearly 30,000 dental graduates per year.  The WHO recommended dentists-to-population ratio is 1:7500.  In India, dentists-to-population ratio was 1:300,000 in the 1960's, which stands at 1:10,000 today.  There is a total workforce of 1,18,000 dental practitioners in India at present, which is expected to swell to 2,25,000 shortly. 
The present population of America is nearly 33 crore, and it has 108 dental colleges to provide dental treatments.  However after considering the dentist to population ratio as well as the number of fresh dentists graduating per year, the number of dental colleges in America was brought down to 58.  Considering this scenario according to the present Indian population of 1.2 billion, India should have only 119 dental colleges against the present number of 294.  Although there is mushrooming of dental colleges in India, the patients satisfaction level of being treated in these colleges remain at a meager level. 
Although there is increased dental manpower in India, the level of patients' satisfaction needs to be improved. In order to improve the patients' satisfaction, the quality of dental treatment provided alone is not enough. The other factors, which have a role are the environment in which it is provided, the accessibility, the fee charged and the basic sanitation facilities provided in the hospital. 
The qualities of dental treatments in dental clinics and hospitals have improved by leaps and bounds in the urban areas, although there is a marginal level in rural areas. The number of patients getting treated also vary, and the cost factor also comes into play.  There is an urgent need for research on the dental services provided by the hospitals in the present scenario. This study has been done to measure the patients' satisfaction about facilities, services and treatment offered by a dental hospital in India.
| Materials and Methods|| |
A cross-sectional study.
India is a nation of extraordinary diversity, the second largest in Asia and the seventh largest and the second most populous country with a population of 1.21 billion.  It covers an area of 32, 8263 km 2 . There are 28 states and 7 union territories in India.  There are 294 dental colleges spread around 21 states and 4 union territories. 
The majority of the dental colleges are situated in the Southern part of India, which constitutes Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The state of Tamil Nadu was chosen at random from the Southern states of India. 
Among the 29 dental colleges in the state of Tamil Nadu, one dental hospital (Saveetha Dental College and Hospital, Chennai) was randomly selected.  Outpatients reporting to the dental hospital during the month of December 2011 constituted the study population.
Sample size calculation
The overall patient satisfaction was estimated to be 60% among out patients reporting to a hospital in Saudi Arabia  and the sample size was calculated using the formula:
All the outpatients reporting for treatment at dental hospital were included till the sample size is achieved.
- Patients who are not willing to participate in the study
- Patients unable to give informed consent.
Ethical approval was obtained from the Institutional Review Board of Saveetha University.
A pretested self-administered questionnaire was used to measure the patient satisfaction with the dental services provided by dental hospital. The total of 30 closed-ended questions were used. Items covered were Facilities, Services and Treatments. Questions about each patient's demographic data like age and sex were included.
After a brief introduction on the purpose and intent of the study with the help of information sheet, the informed consent was obtained from the patients and questionnaires were distributed to the patients and filled questionnaires were collected. Only completely filled questionnaire forms were considered for analysis.
Data were entered in Microsoft Excel 2010 spreadsheet (Microsoft, USA) and descriptive data, and Chi-square test were analyzed using SPSS (IBM) software (version 17.0).
| Results|| |
Among the 288 study subjects, 181 (62.8%) were males, and 107 (37.2%) were females. 96 (33.4%) study subjects were aged 18-24 years, 92 (32.1%) study subjects were aged 25-34 years, 38 (13.2%) study subjects were aged 35-44 years, 43 (15%) study subjects were aged 45-54 years and 19 (6.3%) study subjects were aged ≥ 55 years [Table 1].
[Figure 1] describes the patient satisfaction regarding facilities provided in the hospital. About 29 (10.1%) of the patients felt that they have problem in parking the vehicle; 202 (70.1%) of patients felt that enough number of lifts were available, 271 (94.1%) of patients felt that the waiting areas were clean, 263 (91.3%) of patients felt that treatment areas were clean.
Only 49 (17%) of the patients felt that they have problem in locating the college/or hospital, 268 (93.1%) of patients felt that reception staff were friendly and courteous, 246 (85.4%) of patients felt that they were able to locate the concerned department, 247 (85.8%) of patients felt that there were comfortable place to sit when they waited for the treatment.
|Figure 1: Assessment of patient satisfaction regarding facilities in the hospital|
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About 192 (66.7%) patients felt that they were satisfied with the cleanliness of the washrooms, 166 (57.6%) patients felt that drinking water facilities were enough in the hospital and 92 (31.9%) patients felt that they have problem with scheduling appointments.
[Figure 2] describes the mode of transport used for reaching hospital/college. Among the 288 subjects, 167 (58%) used bus, 85 (29.5%) used their own vehicle, 31 (10.8%) subjects used three and four wheelers and 5 (1.7%) of the subjects reach the hospital/college by walking.
[Figure 3] describes the patient satisfaction regarding services provided in the hospital. About 210 (72.9%) patients felt that appointment options were given to their schedule, 244 (84.7%) patients felt that they received enough information during first appointment.
Only 86 (29.9%) patients felt that they had problem in contacting student dentist, 269 (93.4%) patients felt that student dentists' were professional and courteous, 271 (94.1%) patients felt that they were pleased with the supervising dentist/staff, 259 (89.9%) of the patients felt that the cost of dental hygiene services were reasonable.
|Figure 3: Assessment of patient satisfaction regarding services in the hospital|
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[Figure 4] describes the patient satisfaction regarding treatments provided in the hospital. About 270 (93.8%) patients felt that the proposed treatment was clearly explained to them, 263 (91.3%) patients felt that they recommend this hospital to their friend/relative, 267 (92.7%) patients felt that the student dentist talked to them with respect and listened carefully and encouraged them to ask questions, 252 (87.5%) patients felt that they received the necessary treatment during their visit to the hospital, 260 (90.3%) patients expressed that the student dentist explained different treatment options and allowed them to decide their choice of treatment.
|Figure 4: Assessment of patient satisfaction regarding treatments in the hospital. Overall satisfaction regarding treatment: P < 0.001|
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About 260 (90.3%) patients felt that the student dentist told them the truth and explained their problems in mouth, 258 (89.6%) patients felt that the student dentist explained each step of the treatment procedure before it is done on them, 255 (88.5%) patients felt that the equipments used were clean and presentable, 255 (88.5%) patients felt that the student dentist used proper infection control procedures.
About 268 (93.1%) patients felt that the student dentist controlled the pain involved during treatment effectively, 228 (79.2%) patients felt that the dental treatment was completed in a timely and efficient manner, 248 (86.1%) patients felt that the student dentist explained to them clearly how to maintain oral hygiene.
| Discussion|| |
The importance of the relations for obtaining patient feedback on dental services, this survey was conducted with the aim to measure patients' satisfaction with regard to facilities, services and treatments offered by a dental hospital in India. This study employed a self-administered questionnaire to collect information regarding patients' satisfaction at the hospital.
The three domains analyzed in this study are facilities, services and treatments. In the facilities domains, 34.1% of patients were not satisfied with the parking facilities, the results were similar to the study by Awliya et al. in Saudi Arabia (2003).  About 70.1% of patients felt that there were enough number of elevators and 94.1% of patients felt that the waiting rooms were clean in the hospital, this was higher than the study conducted by Awliya et al. in Saudi Arabia (2003).  About 66.7% of patients felt that there was cleanliness of the washroom, this was lower than the study conducted by Awliya et al. in Saudi Arabia (2003).  In the present study, only 6.9% of patients were not satisfied with the courteousness of the reception staff, whereas it was 14.8% in the study conducted by Hashim in Emirate of Ajman (2005). 
In the present study, 57.6% of patients felt that they are satisfied regarding drinking water facilities, and 31.9% of patients felt that they had a problem in scheduling appointments. These factors were not discussed individually in any of the previous studies.
In the services domain, 29.9% of patients felt that they had a problem in contacting student dentist, which was higher than the study conducted by Awliya et al. in Saudi Arabia (2003).  About 84.7% of the respondents were satisfied on first appointments, and they received enough information regarding their treatments.
In the treatment domain, 93.8% of patients felt that the proposed treatment was clearly explained to them, which was lower than the study conducted by Hashim in Emirate of Ajman (2005).  Patients overall satisfaction regarding treatments were significant statistically (P < 0.001).
This survey provided a means of assessing satisfaction of the patients currently receiving treatment in the Dental College. The results could facilitate focusing on patient complaints and attending to the concerns of dissatisfied patients. The comments and suggestions also provided useful information about issues important to patients and ways to address them. Given the high costs of educating future dentists and the increasingly competitive environment in which dental colleges operate, the role that dental colleges play as service providers needs to be carefully considered. Future studies may be needed to compare patients' satisfaction in the Dental College with other dental care providers.
| Conclusion|| |
The results of this survey questionnaire indicated that majority of the patients were satisfied with the facilities, services and treatment received at Saveetha dental college except for facilities such as parking and water supply, services like scheduling appointments with patient convenience and waiting too long to get a treatment on appointment times with the specialists.
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]