Objective: To assess the level of patient satisfaction with three dental speciality services: oral surgery, periodontics, and fixed prosthodontics.
Subjects and methods: A sample of 1,242 patients, aged 16 years and over who received dental care at least twice at the main dental centre, Al-Amiri, Kuwait, were interviewed during May-August 1998 by independent researchers concerning their experience of previous visits. Patients reported their level of satisfaction on a 5-point Likert scale for the items in the questionnaire, which focused on four areas: access, dentist's communication, staff helpfulness, and structural aspects of the practice.
Results: On average 49.4% (25.9-89.6%) of participating patients rated the level of care received as excellent. Areas rated poorest included waiting time for an appointment and waiting time in the clinic to access the dentist. Participants were less satisfied with doctor's explanation of illness, dental treatment and confidentiality of medical records. The areas that received excellent ratings by patients included: (a) communication (listening and understanding complaints 40.0% and courteous treatment 57.8%), and (b) structural aspects (availability of infection control and safety measures 89.6% and packed sterilized instruments 78.9%).
Conclusion: Findings indicate that the level of patient satisfaction was reasonably high. Areas identified as needing improvement included: dentist-patient communication skills, medical records, appointment systems, and shortening of the waiting time to access the dentist.
Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel