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Volume 12 , Issue 1
January/February 1999

Pages 45-50

General Dentists’ Attitudes Toward Delegation, Information, and Patient Influence in a Prosthodontic Contex


PMID: 10196827

Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate attitudes among general dentists in Sweden in relation to gender, age, prosthodontic activity, and dental delivery system (private or public). Materials and Methods: Questionnaires were sent to a random sample of 2,059 dentists, and a response rate of 76% (1,567 dentists) was achieved. Among those who responded, 50% were private practitioners, and 50% were publicly employed practitioners; 42% were female and 58% were male. The questionnaire contained 10 statements aimed at measuring attitudes. Their dimensionality was analyzed using principal components analysis. The resulting factors were related to delivery system (public or private), gender, age, job satisfaction, and weekly working hours used for prosthodontics in multiple regression models. Results: There was a wide variation in the answers to the statements, indicating great individual differences in opinions among dentists. Several distributions differed with respect to gender and delivery system, but the mean diffe rences between various groups of dentists were small. The most affirmative attitude was shown for delegation of impression taking to auxiliaries (mean 6.7; SD 1.8), and the most negative attitude was shown for close cooperation between dentists (mean 1.8; SD 1.4). The factor analysis gave 3 factors, with a variance explanation of 57%. Regression models for the 3 attitude dimensions ( patient influence, delegation, and patient information ) showed that female dentists felt more positive about delegation and information than male dentists. The explained variance was very low for all 3 models and varied from 0.01 to 0.05. Conclusion: Although the differences in attitudes between various groups of dentists were statistically significant, these differences were small in relation to the large variation in attitudes among individual dentists.

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