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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Oral Health 1/2018

Patients’ satisfaction with dental care: a qualitative study to develop a satisfaction instrument

BMC Oral Health > Ausgabe 1/2018
Jennifer Yu Ning Luo, Pearl Pei Liu, May Chun Mei Wong



To explore and better understand how patients evaluate satisfaction in dental care and elicit information from them to develop a dental satisfaction instrument.


Patients currently receiving dental treatment in a teaching hospital were invited to be part of a qualitative research project which involved focus group discussion. Focus groups were conducted in Cantonese and discussions were recorded (audio and video) and later transcribed.


Thirty patients participated and a thematic analysis of data from four focus groups helped generate a questionnaire on dental satisfaction. Six themes were extracted from the contents of the focus group: (i) attitude, (ii) cost, (iii) convenience, (iv) pain management, (v) quality, and (vi) patients’ perceived need for prevention of oral disease. Compared to the existing Dental Satisfaction Questionnaire (DSQ), majority of the dental satisfaction aspects mentioned in focus group discussions were similar to items in DSQ supporting its content validity. Focus groups covered more aspects including attitude of dental supporting staff, convenience of emergency services, admission of patients and treatment duration. Consideration of the clinical skills of the operator, hospital infection control, and knowledge on prevention of oral disease were also expressed.


The focus group discussions elicited the views of patients not covered by DSQ items thereby suggesting areas for development of a new satisfaction questionnaire.
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