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South African Dental Journal

On-line version ISSN 0375-1562
Print version ISSN 0011-8516


OBADAN-UDOH, E et al. Perceptions of quality and safety among dental patients. S. Afr. dent. j. [online]. 2019, vol.74, n.7, pp.374-382. ISSN 0375-1562.

INTRODUCTION: From the perspective of patients, quality of care can be defined as the ability of healthcare products and services to satisfy their stated or implied needs. Dental professionals have a moral obligation to deliver the best quality care in today's increasingly informed, consumer-driven society AIM: To jumpstart the discussion on assessing quality of dental care, using patient perceptions DESIGN: A cross-sectional study of South African dental patients METHODS: Questionnaires were distributed to all non-emergency, adult patients at a teaching dental hospital in South Africa The outcome variables were: a) Access to Care; b) Technical Quality; c) Structure and Facilities; d) Communication; e) Global Rating of Safety. RESULTS: Overall, 58.6% of the participants had a positive view about the quality of dental care in South Africa. Age, race, marital status, child status, employment status, household income and educational status were associated with higher quality ratings THE QUESTION: "The instrument used in treating me appeared clean" (97.6%) was rated highly, while the question "Whenever I was sent to a new dentist, I had to repeat the tests that I did at the previous dentist" rated very low (36.9% CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that the dental profession still has challenges in meeting the expectations of patients

Keywords : Healthcare quality; patient safety; patient-reported outcome measures; dental care.

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