University Students' Satisfaction with the Quality of Primary Dental Healthcare Services and Dentists in Croatia: A Cross-Sectional Study

Clin Pract. 2022 Dec 30;13(1):52-64. doi: 10.3390/clinpract13010005.


Measuring satisfaction can be an essential method for evaluating and improving healthcare quality. Therefore, this survey aimed to determine university students' satisfaction with dental care at the primary healthcare level and the factors that influence students' decisions when choosing a dental provider. A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a self-administered electronic questionnaire that assessed satisfaction with various aspects of dental care (patient-staff interaction, professional and technical competence, and administrative efficiency) on a 5-point Likert scale. A total of 806 students participated in the survey, of whom 56.6% were from a biomedical science background, and 43.4% from other scientific fields. Near-minimal differences were found between respondents studying in biomedical fields and those from other scientific fields, when evaluating satisfaction with dental services. More significant differences were found in the factors influencing their choice of dentist. The dentist's experience (p = 0.031), cost of service (p ≤ 0.001), office location (p = 0.034), waiting time (p = 0.029), qualifications (p = 0.033), and gender (p = 0.007) were more important for students pursuing one of the non-health-related majors. Overall, respondents were very satisfied with their dentists and the services provided. The highest satisfaction score was found on the "professional and technical competence" and "administrative efficiency" subscales, while the lowest satisfaction score was found on the "patient-staff interaction" subscale.

Keywords: dental care; dental service; healthcare quality; patient preference; patient satisfaction.

Grant support

This research received no external funding.