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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 236-239

Professional satisfaction among dental practitioners of Telangana State: A cross-sectional study


Department of Public Health Dentistry, Meghna Institute of Dental Sciences, Nizamabad, Telangana, India

Date of Submission06-Sep-2019
Date of Decision10-Jul-2020
Date of Acceptance25-Sep-2020
Date of Web Publication24-Oct-2020

Correspondence Address:
Arun Shyam
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Meghna Institute of Dental Sciences, Nizamabad - 503 003, Telangana
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_62_19

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  Abstract 


Context: During the last decade, there has been a high increase in the number of dentists and dental practices in India. However, the literature on professional satisfaction among dental practitioners is lacking. Aims: This study aims to assess the level of professional satisfaction and to understand the effect of various factors associated with professional satisfaction among Telangana state dental practitioners. Settings and Design: A cross-sectional study was conducted for 2 months. Materials and Methods: Four hundred dental practitioners were approached. They were surveyed through a self-administered questionnaire. A modified version of the Dentist Satisfaction Survey was used to measure professional satisfaction. Data analysis was carried out using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 18). Step-wise multiple regression was done to predict the effect of explanatory variables on outcome variable. The level of significance was set at P < 0.05. Results: A response rate of 56% was achieved. The mean score of overall professional satisfaction was 2.1 ± 1.4 out of 5. A high percentage of the dental practitioners showed satisfaction with respect, patient relations and delivery of care. The least satisfying factors were income and personal time. Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that income, patient relations (<0.001) and age were the significant predictors of overall professional satisfaction (adjusted R2 = 0.93). Conclusion: Telangana state dental practitioners showed a low level of overall professional satisfaction. This study suggests that patient relations, income and age are important predictors of professional satisfaction.

Keywords: Dental practitioners, dentistry, professional satisfaction


How to cite this article:
Shyam A, Dande R. Professional satisfaction among dental practitioners of Telangana State: A cross-sectional study. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2020;18:236-9

How to cite this URL:
Shyam A, Dande R. Professional satisfaction among dental practitioners of Telangana State: A cross-sectional study. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Nov 29];18:236-9. Available from: https://www.jiaphd.org/text.asp?2020/18/3/236/299005




  Introduction Top


A profession is defined by the Australian Council of Professions (1997) as: “a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a widely recognized body of learning derived from research, education and training at a high level, and who are prepared to apply this knowledge and exercise these skills in the interest of others.”[1] Dentistry was first recognized as a profession in 1699, when a dictum was passed in France legalizing the profession of dentists and distinguishing them from physicians, surgeons and barber surgeons.[2]

Professional satisfaction is a form of positive emotion resulting from the appraisal of one's profession or professional experiences. Every profession has the ability for producing either satisfaction or dissatisfaction and much of that assessment is based on attitude and personal values of an individual. Measuring professional satisfaction is essential, since it is now considered to be an important aspect of the vocational dimension of health. Dissatisfaction in dental practice can lead to ill health and an early end to a career with an irreversible loss of time and money.

Several previous studies have demonstrated the level of professional satisfaction among dentists and impact of various work related factors associated with it. The most extensively used instrument to measure job satisfaction among dentists was developed by Shugars et al.[3] In studies conducted by Jeong et al.[4] and Kaipa et al.[5] the level of professional satisfaction among South Korean and Indian dentists was found to be neutral. Roth et al.[6] reported that Canadian orthodontists were satisfied with the job and most dissatisfaction was associated with personal time, practice management. Other studies showed that the level of professional satisfaction among dentists was satisfactory and various work related factors had a significant effect on professional satisfaction.[7],[8]

Over the past 10 years there has been a rapid growth in the number of dental colleges, which has led to a high increase in dentists and dental practices in India.[9] Despite a high increase in the number of dentists and practices, literature on professional satisfaction among Telangana state dental practitioners is lacking. Hence, this study was conducted to assess the level of professional satisfaction and to understand the effect of various factors associated with professional satisfaction among Telangana state dental practitioners.


  Materials and Methods Top


Study design and sample

A cross-sectional study was conducted for 2 months (Jan to February 2019) among dental practitioners of Telangana state. A list of dental practitioners in Telangana State was obtained from the Indian Dental Association. A total of 400 subjects were randomly selected from 750 registered practicing dentists. In order to minimize sampling error, the study area was stratified into 10 strata consisting of 3 cities, 4 urban, and 3 rural places, and then 10% of the dental practitioners were randomly selected from each stratum.

Ethical approval

The present study was approved by Institutional Ethical Committee and review board (ECR/0015/Inst/TS/2019). Detailed information about the study was explained to all participants and their written consent was obtained.

Selection criteria

The inclusion criteria were: (1) dental practitioners with at least 1 year of clinical experience and (2) registered with Telangana state dental association. The exclusion criteria were: (1) retired dental practitioners and (2) practitioners pursuing masters or any other studies.

Data collection

The study period was for 2 months (Jan to February 2019), during which a total of 400 dental practitioners were approached. A questionnaire was given to all selected participants with an introduction letter. All the participants were instructed to complete the questionnaire in 48 h and submit to the investigator.

Survey questionnaire

We have searched the literature and found that the Dentist Satisfaction Survey (DSS) was extensively used to evaluate job satisfaction among dentists.[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[10],[11],[12] DSS was too long and few parameters did not suit to the local dental practitioners. Thus, the survey was modified and its reliability (Cronbach's alpha was 0.82) and validity have been well documented.[12] The modified survey consisted of 43 items: seven items to measure the overall professional satisfaction and 36 items related to seven work-related factors. The work related factors included staff, income, professional time, delivery of care, patient relations, personal time, and respect. For each item, the subjects were asked to indicate their agreement using a five-point Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neutral, 4 = agree, and 5 = strongly agree). Respondent's personal and professional information were collected along with DSS questionnaire.

Data entry and statistical analysis

A total of 400 questionnaire forms were given to all selected practitioners. Among them, 176 forms were rejected due to their incomplete questionnaire in 48 h time. After complete scrutiny a total of 224 completely filled forms were subjected to statistical analysis. The survey data were entered into the EpiData software (EpiData Association, Denmark) and it was then exported to statistical software (SPSS version 18, SPSS, Chicago, IL, USA) for analysis. Negatively framed responses were reverse coded during data entry. Based on the previous study,[4] the score of items obtained for each work related factor was averaged and then categorized as dissatisfied (1.0–2.5), neutral (>2.5 but <3.5), and satisfied (3.5–5.0). The values of various parameters are expressed as mean score. Stepwise multiple regression analysis was employed to find the effect of professional, personal characteristics and work related factors on overall professional satisfaction.


  Results Top


Of 400 subjects, 224 answered the questionnaire with a response rate of 56%. About 75% of the subjects were males and 25% were females [Table 1]. Forty-two percent of the participants reported to have a master's qualification. A majority of the dental practitioners (84%) were engaged in a full time practice [Table 2].
Table 1: Personal characteristics of respondents

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Table 2: Professional characteristics of respondents

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Levels of professional satisfaction

The mean score of overall professional satisfaction among Telangana dental practitioners was 2.1 ± 1.4 (dissatisfied). The majority (65%) of dental practitioners showed dissatisfaction with their job. About 30% of subjects expressed satisfaction and only 4% of practitioners showed a neutral level of satisfaction. A high percentage of dental practitioners showed satisfaction for respect, patient relations, and delivery of care. The most dissatisfaction factors were personal time and income [Table 3].
Table 3: Distribution of work related factors and overall professional satisfaction score

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Factors related to professional satisfaction

The effect of professional, personal characteristics, and work-related factors on overall professional satisfaction was determined by a stepwise multiple regression analysis. A patient relation was the most significant (<0.001) predictor of overall job satisfaction after adjusting for other variables in the regression model. Other predictors included Income and age [Table 4]. Gender, Clinic location, qualification, years of practice, working hours per day, respect, personal time, professional time, average number of patients per day, staff and delivery of care did not have a direct significant effect on overall professional satisfaction. The final regression model accounted for approximately 93% of the total variance in overall job satisfaction.
Table 4: Multiple regression analysis for factors related to overall professional satisfaction

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  Discussion Top


The present study was conducted to assess the level of professional satisfaction and to understand the effect of various factors associated with professional satisfaction among Telangana state dental practitioners. Findings of the present study were compared to other studies conducted by South Korean dentists,[4] Indian dentists,[5],[12] Canadian orthodontists,[6] Lithuanian dentists,[7] California dentists,[8] and Egyptian dentists [10] as they have used the same DSS instrument.

The mean score of overall professional satisfaction was 2.1 ± 1.4 out of 5, which indicated a level of dissatisfaction. This finding is in contrast to other studies, in which, higher mean overall professional satisfaction score was reported from South Korean dentists (3.2),[4] Indian dentists (3.08),[5] Canadian orthodontists (4.0),[6] Lithuanian dentists (4.6)[7] and Egyptian dentists (3.2).[10] The lower level of overall professional satisfaction among our study participants may be attributed to the following reasons: (1) oversupply of dentists which in turn adversely affecting conditions of practice and (2) an increase in competition between practitioners leading to decrease in income.[12]

In the present study, the most dissatisfaction factor was associated with personal time. This finding is similar to the findings of Jeong et al.[4] and Roth et al.[6] Dissatisfaction with personal time may be the result of long working hours, which is about 7 h/day in India.[9] The second least satisfaction factor was with income, similar to the finding of Puriene et al.[7] but contrary to the finding of Kaipa et al.[5] who reported income as the most satisfying aspect among Andhra Pradesh dentists. Low satisfaction with income may be attributed to an increase in competition between practitioners and general low living standard in Telangana.

Stepwise multiple regression analysis was employed to find the effect of professional, personal characteristics and work-related factors on overall professional satisfaction. Regression analysis indicated that income, patient relations and age were the significant predictors of overall professional satisfaction, after adjusting for other variables. This study result is in agreement with Joeng et al.[4] with regard to income and patient relations. Further analysis showed that gender, clinic location, qualification, years of practice, working hours per day, staff and average number of patients per day did not have a direct significant effect on overall professional satisfaction. Earlier studies have documented conflicting findings regarding patient's age and dentist job satisfaction. Jeong et al.[4] reported that age was not significantly related to overall job satisfaction among South Korean dentists. Kaipa et al.[5] reported that satisfaction level decreased with age among Andhra Pradesh dentists. By contrast, studies by Puriene et al.,[7] Shugars et al.[8] and Shyam et al.[12] showed a positive relationship between an increasing age and overall job satisfaction. In this study, multiple regression analysis revealed that age had significant impact on overall professional satisfaction and this finding is in agreement with above mentioned studies.[7],[8],[12] High satisfaction level with an increase in age could be due to a general consideration that increase in age is associated with high clinical experience, more respect, more professional time, good income, and better patient relations.

Few limitations must be considered when interpreting the findings of this study. First, this study is cross-sectional in design and thus making it difficult to establish a causal association between variables. Therefore, in a future research, longitudinal studies are needed to investigate the effect of several factors on overall professional satisfaction. Second, regression analysis, including few independent variables demonstrated approximately 93% of variation in overall job satisfaction. This indicates that remaining percentage of variation would be explained by the characteristics that are not captured with the modified DDS questionnaire. Finally, it is possible that satisfaction scores were shifted to the negative side, as this study did not include dental practitioners who were retired and there could be a chance that nonrespondents might be those with higher professional satisfaction level.


  Conclusion Top


Our study suggests that Telangana state dental practitioners experience a low level of overall professional satisfaction. A majority of the dental practitioners showed satisfaction with factors such as respect, patient relations and delivery of care. However, the least satisfying factors were personal time and income. Patient relations, income and age are important predictors of overall professional satisfaction. Findings of this study will be helpful to dental associations to make policies to improve the level of professional satisfaction among Telangana state dental practitioners.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Australian Council of Professions. Definition of a Profession. Professions Australia; 1997. Available from: http://www.professions.com.au/definitionprofession.html. [Last updated on 1997 May 26; Last accessed on 2015 Apr 16].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Fricker JP, Kiley M, Townsend G, Trevitt C. Professionalism: What is it, why should we have it and how can we achieve it? Aust Dent J 2011;56:92-6.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Shugars DA, Hays RD, DiMatteo MR, Cretin S. Development of an instrument to measure job satisfaction among dentists. Med Care 1991;29:728-44.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Jeong SH, Chung JK, Choi YH, Sohn W, Song KB. Factors related to job satisfaction among South Korean dentists. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2006;34:460-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Kaipa S, Pydi SK, Krishna Kumar RV, Srinivasulu G, Darsi VR, Sode M. Career satisfaction among dental practitioners in Srikakulam, India. J Int Soc Prev Community Dent 2015;5:40-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Roth SF, Heo G, Varnhagen C, Glover KE, Major PW. Job satisfaction among Canadian orthodontists. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2003;123:695-700.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Puriene A, Petrauskiene J, Janulyte V, Balciuniene I. Factors related to job satisfaction among Lithuanian dentists. Stomatologija 2007;9:109-13.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Shugars DA, DiMatteo MR, Hays RD, Cretin S, Johnson JD. Professional satisfaction among California general dentists. J Dent Educ 1990;54:661-9.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Vundavalli S. Dental man power planning in India: Current scenario and future projections for the year 2020. Int Dent J 2014;64:62-7.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Fahim AE. Predictors of job satisfaction among practicing dentists at hospitals in Suez Canal Area, Egypt. Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2013;26:49-57.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Wells A, Winter PA. Influence of practice and personal characteristics on dental job satisfaction. J Dent Educ 1999;63:805-12.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Shyam MA, Fareed N, Shanthi M, Nagarakanti S. Professional satisfaction among dental practitioners of Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh. JIAPHD 2009;14:64-9.  Back to cited text no. 12
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]



 

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