Dentist patient relationship communication problems

dentist patient relationship communication problems

Trust is the foundation of a successful patient-dentist relationship, as with of dentists, the communication between dentists and patients, and their . to dentists and therefore often report more problems and higher levels of. Dentist-patient communication is a major factor for both health care providers third part contained details of dentist-patient relationship; the patients were asked .. The ability of the dentist to communicate is a major issue in. Dentist–patient agreement over issues discussed and procedures performed There was no relationship between patient recall and patient.

Without empathy, our communication with others will be one sided and we will be bound to face problems in relationships as we will be indifferent to emotions of others [2]. It is imperative that a dentist as an oral health physician has the skills of empathy for effective communication with patients. This aspect of understanding patients' feelings brings to picture the concept of dignity conserving care as proposed by Harvey Max Chochinov [3].

It is also known as whole person care or psychosocial care. The intimate connection between care provider's affirmation and patient's self-perception, underscores the basis of dignity conserving care [3]. A dentist with empathy skills knows how his or her patient feels and is willing to provide emotional support.

This kind of reply from a dentist immediately will induce a sense of togetherness in patients. Empathy also helps in showing dignity and conserving the personhood of the patient. Another important aspect of dentist-patient relationship is involving the patient in the process of diagnosing the problem. Throughout the process of interview with patient, the orientation of the dentist should be patient-focused. A patient-focused dentist will be open to a broader health care agenda with the patient and explores other possible issues.

Such a dentist explores biological as well as social and psychological issues during clinical information gathering. The dentist who can connect with a patient on a personal level is more friendly and personable. This will help the patient to share control of the interaction and dentist will be able to negotiate options with the patient [1]. Dentists should encourage patients to participate in decisions and check their willingness and ability to follow the treatment plan.

Wherever necessary dentist should provide resources and support for the patients. This essentially nurtures the relationship and also helps build a culture of kindness in the dental hospital set up [5]. An effective communication provides benefits both for patients and dentists [6]. Benefits for patients are mainly patient satisfaction and compliance.

Higher levels of patient satisfaction and compliance are seen to be associated with physician's nonverbal communication behaviors such as distance between the doctor and patient, forward lean and body orientation. Dental schools should incorporate teaching and training dental students in these areas of effective communication including verbal and nonverbal forms.

Effective communication with positive talk and information giving will increase patient compliance. Patient centred communication is shown to increase positive patient perception that is required for better recovery from discomfort and better emotional health [7]. Such an approach also benefits dentists by creating higher work satisfaction and less frustration in daily work.

Higher patient satisfaction also reduces the chances of malpractice claims. Discussion This exploratory study addressed several questions. Firstly, we examined whether there are differences in the quantity of information recalled postconsultation between dentists and patients.

Secondly, we explored the recalled material in terms of content, and explored whether dentists and patients recall psychosocial and technical aspects of the consultation differently. Thirdly, we evaluated the extent of disagreement between dentists and patients on the content of the consultation. Finally, we investigated the relationship between consultation recall and patient satisfaction. So not only did dentists recall more activities taking place in the consultation overall, but specifically they appeared to recall more oral health advice being offered and more discussion of follow-up actions.

Patients, on the other hand, remembered a similar number of performed procedures and general issues, but were particularly poor at recalling dental health advice and future actions relating to the consultation.

These results are not wholly unexpected. Future work should vary the communication model under which dentists work to one where, for example, patients are primarily in control of and drive the communication during a consultation and then reassess recall in this context. Patients, on the other hand, were no different to dentists in recalling the main issues discussed and procedures performed.

Their recall, however, of any dental health advice given in order to deal with their condition and any agreed-upon actions — both concepts relating to future adherent behavior — was poor.

These findings extend previous work in medical 13 and dental 15 settings by showing that patients remember some aspects of what is discussed, but apparently not those aspects that are likely to help their oral health, such as dental health advice and future actions.

dentist patient relationship communication problems

These findings have worrying implications for patient adherence and go some way towards explaining the substantial rates of patient nonadherence with HCP instructions reported in the literature.

Where in the consultation such future advice is given should also be examined in future work. Interestingly, both patients and dentists recalled more technical than psychosocial aspects of the consultation.

There are several explanations for this finding: Similarly, being treated in an environment where technical procedures rather than psychosocial talk or talk of any kind dominate the consultation, it is not surprising that these aspects of the consultation were more salient for patients too. A further plausible explanation has to do with patient expectations: Emotion-provoking events are remembered more vividly although not necessarily more accuratelywhich may explain these findings.

Dentist—patient agreement over consultation content supported previous work.

dentist patient relationship communication problems

These results support an Australian study on smoking cessation that found dentists believing they had advised smoking cessation, but patients not recalling such advice ever having been given. The reasons for this discrepancy may be that dentists had discussed oral health advice, but patients were not able to remember it.

Alternatively, it could be that dentists had it in mind to discuss these issues, but never quite did, or presented the information in a way that the patient did not understand or register. Either way, a patient who is unable to recall oral health advice or future actions at consultation is unlikely to be in a position to act on such advice.

Patients should perhaps be given in writing a list of advice given and actions agreed upon at a consultation so that such information might aid subsequent recall and adherence in future. Finally, our sample reported high levels of satisfaction with the dental consultation.

Effective Communication and Empathy Skills in Dentistry for Better Dentist-Patient Relationships

Satisfaction, however, was completely unrelated to recall of the consultation. Alternatively, given that satisfaction was highly skewed in this study, the lack of a relationship may have resulted from a ceiling effect on the satisfaction variable.

This was a small exploratory study, which although sufficiently powered to detect differences between conditions, used a small sample of participants from one dental hospital. Future work needs to be undertaken to replicate these findings in different dental settings and at a different time period, perhaps introducing time delay postconsultation before questionnaires are completed.

It is acknowledged that the low overall recall of patients in this study could have been responsible for the low recall across categories that were observed; future studies should replicate our work to confirm that the category-specific differences we have found here are not the results of overall floor effects.

Finally, like any work relying on self-reports, the present study may well have suffered from social desirability effects, with patients and dentists self-reporting what they felt we wanted to see, rather than what actually happened. The fact that both dentists and patients were blind to the study hypotheses however, goes some way towards minimizing such effects. Worryingly, patients seem unable to recall accurately future dental health advice or agreed actions, and assuming this information has been communicated by dentists in the first place, this finding has implications for patient adherence to advice given at dental consultations.

Communication Problems in Relationship

In order to support patient adherence in dental settings, measures need to be taken in practice to ensure that patients remember consultation advice immediately postconsultation. Acknowledgment The authors would like to thank all patients who took part in this study. Footnotes The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work. Memory for medical information.