|Year : 2015 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 48-51
Professional satisfaction among dental practitioners in Ghaziabad city
Venisha Pandita, Basavaraj Patthi, Ashish Singla, Shilpi Singh, Ravneet Malhi, Vaibhav Vashishtha
Department of Public Health Dentistry, D.J. College of Dental Sciences and Research, Modinagar, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Date of Web Publication||19-Mar-2015|
Dr. Venisha Pandita
Department of Public Health Dentistry, D.J. College of Dental Sciences and Research, Ajit Mahal, Niwari Road, Modinagar, Ghaziabad - 201 204, Uttar Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Introduction: Professional satisfaction is an important determinant of health worker motivation, retention and performance and are critical improving the functioning of health systems in low-and middle income countries. Objective: To measure professional satisfaction among registered clinical dentists in Ghaziabad city. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 107 dentists practicing in clinics. A questionnaire measuring dimensions of professional satisfaction was distributed manually to the participating dentists. All items were written in 5 point Likert format with a score ranging from 5 (strongly satisfied) to 1 (strongly dissatisfied). Data were analyzed using SPSS software, version 19.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) and Student's t-test measuring the difference of means between the subgroups for each dimension was performed. Results: Analysis showed significant differences (P < 0.05) in levels of satisfaction for various dimensions of professional satisfaction by gender, educational qualification and work status type. There were differences in professional satisfaction between male and female dentists-related to the personal time dimension. Results also showed that postgraduates were more satisfied than graduates. It was reported that full time dentists expressed dissatisfaction in the time spent with their family and leading to troubles in their personal relationships. Conclusion: Overall, dentists have a high level of professional satisfaction and the level of satisfaction is influenced by various socio demographic and psycho-behavioral factors.
Keywords: Dentist, job, postgraduation, satisfaction, stress
|How to cite this article:|
Pandita V, Patthi B, Singla A, Singh S, Malhi R, Vashishtha V. Professional satisfaction among dental practitioners in Ghaziabad city. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2015;13:48-51
| Introduction|| |
Satisfaction is said to be associated with motivation or attitude or may be a result of the psychosocial working environment. Factors such as the working environment, workers' skills and needs, organizational conditions, culture and personal influence health, performance and satisfaction at work.  Career satisfaction has been described as the "positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one's job or job experience." It is linked to various aspects of patient care and health system outcomes as well as to general life contentment and job performance.  The rapid change in all activity sectors, particularly in healthcare service and policies, had brought job dissatisfactions among the healthcare workers. Professional gratification can lead to better organizational commitment of employees, which in turn can enhance the overall organizational success and its progress and lowers the employees' intentions to leave the organization. It was been also found that personal satisfaction, delivery of care, income, respect and professional time were highly correlated with professional satisfaction.  Dissatisfied individuals are likely to leave the organization and as a result staying workers would show poor working performance and might sabotage the work and quit their jobs. 
Dentistry provides a unique social interaction influenced by specific demands of the clinical practice, exposure to an intimate and very sensitive area of the human body, personal characteristics and emotions of a health care provider and its recipient.  Over the years, research has identified dentistry as being one of the most stressful professions, with high levels of work-related stress linked to poor working relationships and low professional satisfaction.  It has been found that time-related pressures, mounting workloads, financial concerns, anxious ⁄ difficult patients, staff issues, resource limitations, poor working conditions and the repetitive nature of the job are among some of the most common stressors reported.  Low professional comfort therefore, may lead to low turnover of dentists and dental auxiliaries with resultant loss of productivity and reduced quality of patient care. 
Thus, fulfillment in the profession can be influenced by a variety of factors. There have been number of international studies examining dentist professional satisfaction and stressors as well. However, levels of professional satisfaction among dentists on the basis of gender, educational qualification, and work status are still some of the key issues, which need to be assessed. The existence of any systematic variation in levels of satisfaction between dentists by these factors may give some indication of areas in which dentists' professional satisfaction may be improved. Hence, the present study was conducted to assess professional satisfaction among registered Dental practitioners in Ghaziabad city, Uttar Pradesh.
| Materials and Methods|| |
A cross-sectional study was conducted among 107 dental registered practicing dentists at Ghaziabad. Ethical approval was received from the Institutional Review Board. The informed consent was obtained from all the dentists participating in the survey.
Reliability and validity of questionnaire
The questionnaire was adapted from a study by Harris et al.  The 28-item questionnaire containing relationship with staff, colleagues and patients, personal time, intrinsic satisfaction, community in which the dentist works, compensation, administrative responsibilities and resources.
The questionnaire was pretested by conducting a pilot study on 22 of the study participants. Reliability of the questionnaire was assessed by using Test-Retest, and the values of measured Kappa (k) and Weighted Kappa (k) was 0.86 and 0.9 respectively. Internal consistency of questionnaires was assessed by applying Chronbachs-Alpha (α) and the value of α =0.78 was measured.
The present study was conducted among all the 120 registered clinical dentists of Ghaziabad city. Each Dentist was then personally approached by Principal Investigator at their clinic requesting for participation in the survey. The questionnaire was given in person to the participating dentists after explaining the study design and also with two rounds of follow-up was sent to nonresponders. The participants were asked to indicate their level of agreement or disagreement with the statements on a five-point Likert scale with '5' indicating strong agreement (and hence strong satisfaction) and '1' indicating strong disagreement (and hence strong dissatisfaction).
Selected dentists were reminded once before the deadline. The reminder was given through phone calls to return the questionnaire. Of 120 study subjects, the total of 107 completed the questionnaire and those who were noncontactable (6%) and did not fill the complete questionnaire (5%) were excluded from the study generating the response rate of 89%.
Data were entered in Microsoft excel 12.0 version 2007 (Microsoft Office, New Mexico, US) and analyzed using the SPSS version 19 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) for descriptive and inferential statistics. The mean weighted scores and Standard deviation were calculated for each dimension of job satisfaction based on responses to the items of each dimension. The Student's t-test was used to analyze the difference of means between the demographic variables for each dimension. The confidence interval was fixed at 95%.
| Results|| |
[Table 1] describes the characteristics of the population. About 107 dentists completed the questionnaire out of which 49.53% were graduates and 50.47% were postgraduates. About 53.3% respondents were practicing in metropolitan areas, and 44.86% of respondents reported that they worked in nonmetropolitan region. Male dentists were comparatively more than female dentists.
The overall mean dimension/sub-scale scores for professional satisfaction (weighted mean data) were shown in [Table 2]. The highest mean scores reported by dentists were for the administrative responsibility (2.81 ± 0.9), followed by personal time (2.79 ± 1.15) and autonomy (2.35 ± 0.9).
|Table 2: Overall mean dimension/sub-scale scores for professional satisfaction |
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In [Table 3], mean professional satisfaction scores for each dimension/sub-scale of gender, educational qualification, work status and area of practice were examined. It was found that female dentists reported a higher average score compared with male dentists in personal time dimension whereas the male showed significant difference values in the autonomy (P = 0.002) and administrative responsibilities dimensions (P = 0.003).
|Table 3: Professional satisfaction dimension/sub-scale mean scores by gender, educational qualification, work status and region of practice |
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Furthermore, there were significantly higher satisfaction in the dentist with the post graduate qualification in terms of autonomy (0.001), relationship with the patients (0.002), intrinsic satisfaction (0.001), community relationships (0.001) and financial resources (0.005). However, the graduate dentist was professionally more satisfied in personal time dimension (0.003). The professional satisfaction by the work status was more in the full time dentists as compared with the part time dentist in terms of intrinsic satisfaction (P = 0.008) and community relationships (P = 0.001). There was no significant association of the professional satisfaction with the geographic location with respect to any of the dimensions.
| Discussion|| |
The practice of dentistry has a number of dimensions that can lead to satisfaction or dissatisfaction among dental practitioners. The professional satisfaction among the dentist has been discussed in relation to issues such as low turnover of dental staff, potential loss of productivity resulting from turnover and movement away from the dental field entirely.  The present study was conducted to assess the professional satisfaction among the registered dentist in terms of various dimensions such as autonomy, administrative responsibilities, financial resources, personal time, community relationships and to analyze difference in terms of gender, educational qualification, work status and geographical location.
In the present study, an overall measure of achievement in the job indicated that dentists were reasonably satisfied with their profession. Satisfaction scores were higher for autonomy, resources and relationships with staff, patients and colleagues, but lower for personal time, compensation and administrative duties. These findings were in agreement with the study done by Jeong et al.  who suggested that patient relations, perception of income, personal time, staff, and specialty training are important work environment factors for professional satisfaction. Also, similar results were reported by Luzzi et al.  who showed significantly lower mean scores for six of the ten dimensions of job satisfaction, namely autonomy, relationships with patients, relationships with staff, community, compensation, and resources.
Male and female dentists showed significant differences on certain dimensions like autonomy, administrative responsibilities and personal time, with female dentists reporting higher scores in the personal time dimension, which measured happiness with quality and quantity of time to self and family. Similar results have been found in study done by Berdahl and Anderson  suggesting that women prefer more egalitarian roles, whereas men feel more comfortable in a hierarchical situation, and women work better in collaborative work teams than do men. It has been also reported in various studies that male and female dentists differ in their working patterns, and career satisfaction and female dentists work significantly fewer hours than male dentists.  Also find themselves trying to balance the conflicting demands of a professional career and family responsibilities and hence family commitments tend to be the reason for more women dentists working part-time. 
The post-graduation qualification obtained by completing masters in dental surgery has a strong consequence on contentment among the dentists. Thereby, higher mean scores were reported in all of the dimensions for job satisfaction except for personal time. This was in agreement with the study done by Loretto et al.  which reported that higher qualification degree provides better quality service and more efficient dental care as compared to graduates and thereby more gratification.
Also, it was found that full time dentists had the feeling of contentment adequately met with their devotion of time to the patients and work as compared to the services provided by part time dentists. However, full time dentists also expressed dissatisfaction in the time spent with their family and suffered the work burden leading to troubles in their personal relationships as reported in the study conducted by Luzzi and Spencer. 
The limitation of this study was that it did not include dentists who were no longer practicing or who had left practice and so as a result mean satisfaction scores might be higher. This study also does not explain the levels of satisfaction according to age difference as it has been observed that dentists who were practicing for longer duration that is who were older would be more satisfied with various aspects of their profession compared to their younger counterparts. Also, the old aged dentists may be in the peak of the demands placed on them by their dental career and may find themselves under increased stress and pressure associated with building and sustaining a viable practice.
This study has thus revealed that there are various dimensions of fulfillment at work place that may be pertinent to issues impacting on recruitment and retention of dentists in active clinical practice. In the present study, dentists indicated high levels of satisfaction with similar factors (such as autonomy, resources and relationships with staff, patients and colleagues) so these aspects of dentistry could be used to promote the profession to boost recruitment, especially given there is evidence to suggest they play an influential role in the choice to pursue dentistry as a career. Relationship with patients, colleagues and staff can contribute to job satisfaction by developing an effective and stable dental team. The areas of dissatisfaction such as personal time and administrative responsibilities need to be addressed in order for any recruitment campaigns to be effective, and also to retain those already working in dentistry.
| Conclusion|| |
This study gives insights into the diverse dimensions of professional satisfaction highlighting better satisfaction among the postgraduate dental professionals. The issue of professional satisfaction among the practicing dentist needs to be addressed in society to improve recruitment and retention rates of dentists in active clinical practice in different sectors of the dental care system. Workplaces that offer job autonomy, competitive remuneration, flexible working hours and minimum administrative burden may improve dentist job satisfaction. Educational programs should be directed to help professionals to cope with their professional duties without hazardous effects on their physical and mental health.
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[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]