Objectives: To examine factors associated with treatment outcome satisfaction in a group of adolescent patients.
Materials and methods: One hundred and twenty patients (60 girls and 60 boys; mean age, 14.3 years; standard deviation [SD], 1.73 years) were consecutively recruited. The inclusion criteria for all patients were as follows: adolescents with a permanent dentition in need of orthodontic treatment and a treatment plan involving extractions (two or four premolars) followed by fixed appliances in both jaws. Questionnaire 1, concerning treatment motivation and expectations, was assessed prior to treatment start. Questionnaire 2 was assessed after active treatment and included questions about satisfaction with treatment outcome, quality of care and attention, and perceived pain and discomfort during active treatment.
Results: One hundred and ten patients completed the trial (54 boys and 56 girls; mean age, 16.9 years; SD, 1.78 years). Median values for satisfaction with treatment outcome were generally high. There was a clear correlation (P ≤ .001) between satisfaction with treatment outcome and patients' perception of how well they had been informed and cared for during treatment. Pain and discomfort during treatment also strongly affected treatment satisfaction. Sex, treatment time, and Peer Assessment Rating index pre- and posttreatment as well as expectations for future treatment showed no correlation with treatment satisfaction.
Conclusions: Care and attention was the variable showing the highest correlation with satisfaction with treatment outcome. Patients' perceptions of pain and discomfort during treatment had an overall negative correlation with treatment satisfaction. Satisfaction with treatment outcome is a complex issue and requires further exploration in future research.
Keywords: Adolescents; Orthodontic treatment; Questionnaire; Treatment outcome satisfaction.