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Dental beliefs, patients' specific attitudes towards dentists and dental hygienists: a comparative study.

Journal article
Authors K Ohrn
Magnus Hakeberg
Kajsa H. Abrahamsson
Published in International journal of dental hygiene
Volume 6
Issue 3
Pages 205-13
ISSN 1601-5037
Publication year 2008
Published at Institute of Odontology
Pages 205-13
Language en
Keywords Adult, Attitude to Health, Communication, Cross-Sectional Studies, Dental Anxiety, psychology, Dental Care, psychology, Dental Hygienists, Dentist-Patient Relations, Female, Guilt, Health Education, Dental, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Patient Satisfaction, Periodontal Diseases, psychology, Professional-Patient Relations, Shame, Students, psychology
Subject categories Odontological behavioural science


Interpersonal relationships are important for communication, oral health education and patients' satisfaction with dental care. To assess patients' attitudes towards dental caregivers, a Swedish version of the revised Dental Belief Survey (DBS-R) and a comparable and partly new instrument the Dental Hygienist Belief Survey (DHBS) have been evaluated. The aim of the present study was to investigate if patients' attitudes towards dental hygienists (DH) and dentists (D) differ with regard to the separate items in DBS-R and DHBS. The study was a comparative cross-sectional study with 364 patients (students, general patients and patients with periodontal disease). All patients completed the DBS-R and DHBS surveys. The overall pattern in the results showed that participants in general had a less negative attitude towards DH when compared with that towards D. This was most pronounced among students and least pronounced among patients with periodontal disease. No statistically significant difference could be found in items with regard to feelings of shame and guilt in dental care situations, indicating that these items were rated on a more negative level also for DH. The conclusion is that participants had a less negative attitude towards DH with the exception of situations which may give rise to feelings of shame and guilt, an important finding for future dental hygiene care.

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