Dental hygienists are in high demand due to insufficient workforce and a lack of an effective reinstatement support system. We investigated the reasons for willingness to work by analyzing the survey results of the employment status of Japanese dental hygienists conducted by Japan Dental Hygienists' Association. In total, we mailed 16,113 questionnaires to all members of the association (response rate 53.4%). We carried out statistical analysis to determine the specific items to improve the hygienists' working environment. Fourteen factors of working conditions that they wish to improve were determined. Structural equation modeling showed that a path, "Reduction of work volume", "Reduction of working hours" and "Increased number of holidays" were higher than other items. A decision analysis demonstrated that most of the respondents answered "Yes" to "Improvement in working conditions including higher salary" out of those who answered, "Strongly disagree" for "Do you feel that dental hygienist work is rewarding?". Improving workplace environment is integral to keeping high levels of work motivation and a low turnover rate. Most of the hygienists wish for a salary raise among all the conditions. The transition from conventional work styles to non-conventional flexible working patterns is needed.
Keywords: decision analysis; dental hygienist; factor analysis; item response theory (IRT); workplace environment.