Effects of Treatment Perception, Misconceptions, and Outcome Uncertainty on Dental Patients’ Decisions
Hindy, Mohamed M.
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Evidence that strategies to strengthen patient engagement in decision making are effective is substantial. This study hypothesized that some unfavorable consented dental treatment decisions are based on patient uncertainties and misconceptions that dental care providers might not be aware of. The objective of the study was to identify factors that potentially influenced dental patients’ decision at the point of choosing between saving and extracting restorable teeth by exploring underlying motivations, beliefs, attitudes, and emotional feelings and by measuring the extent to which dental practitioners involve patients in the decision making process using the OPTION Scale. For this research study, a purposive sample of 16 subjects was recruited from patients who presented and registered in the study site as “Urgent Care” patients for urgent and palliative treatment. Subjects were sampled from two groups; one group included eight patients who decided to save a restorable tooth and the other group included eight patients who decided to extract a restorable tooth. Data were collected by conducting semistructured interviews with the subjects and by administering a structured Likert scale questionnaire (Observing Patient Involvement [OPTION] Scale). The study identified various factors that can interact and influence dental patients’ decisions, including past dental treatment experience, knowledge about dental treatment, treatment uncertainty, dental fear, financial constraints, and tooth value. This investigator concluded that the patient’s decision making could be a complex interaction between personal views and experiences that the dental provider might not be aware of and he suggested proposing decision aid frameworks in the dental field that can guide patients and clinicians through the process of shared decision making.
SubjectDental patients' decisions
Dental decision aids