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What Counts for the Old and Oldest Old?-An Analysis of Patient Criteria for Choosing a Dentist-Part II: Personal Characteristics and Soft Skills


Nitschke, Ina; Ulbrich, Thomas; Schrock, Annett; Hopfenmüller, Werner; Jockusch, Julia (2022). What Counts for the Old and Oldest Old?-An Analysis of Patient Criteria for Choosing a Dentist-Part II: Personal Characteristics and Soft Skills. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(14):8621.

Abstract

Soft skills include communication skills and personality traits that are important when choosing a dentist, but other factors within the dental office also seem to be important for patients. The aim of this study is to evaluate factors that are important to people in a dentist as well as characteristics of the ideal dentist and to evaluate possible age-, gender-, and residence of living specific differences. A telephone survey with participants aged 35 years or older (ag—age group: ag 1: 35–50 years, ag 2: 70–84 years, ag 3: >85 years) in three German cities was conducted. Data were analyzed with respect to gender and age. Most of the participants (n = 298, 64.2%), regardless of their own gender, age, or place of residence did not care about the gender of the dentist. In general, the price of the treatment does not play a role in choosing the ideal dentist. Women differ significantly from men in their choice of dentist (ANOVA p < 0.001 (preference of non-smoker), ANOVA p < 0.001 (preference, that the dentist does not smell of smoke, importance of appearance (ANOVA p < 0.001) and psycho-social skills, etc.). As age increases, professional experience and psycho-social competencies are rated as important. With the increase in age, the mean value of the desired years of professional experience increases without significant differences between age groups. The importance of advanced training (ANOVA p < 0.001; Bonferoni correction: significant difference between ag 1 and ag 2 p < 0.001, and ag 1 and ag 3 p < 0.001) decreases with age. Especially for participants aged 70 to 84 years, a relationship of trust is important. Between the places of residence, statistical differences for almost all surveyed items were found (e.g., importance that the dentist speaks the patients’ native language ANOVA p < 0.001, Bonferoni correction: significant difference between Berlin and Leipzig, Berlin and Mainz, and Leipzig and Mainz (each p < 0.001), dentist has a specialization ANOVA p < 0.001, Bonferoni correction: significant difference between Berlin and Leipzig and Berlin and Mainz (each p < 0.001), etc.). Dentists should be trained to develop psycho-social skills to meet the special demands of the increasing older population.

Abstract

Soft skills include communication skills and personality traits that are important when choosing a dentist, but other factors within the dental office also seem to be important for patients. The aim of this study is to evaluate factors that are important to people in a dentist as well as characteristics of the ideal dentist and to evaluate possible age-, gender-, and residence of living specific differences. A telephone survey with participants aged 35 years or older (ag—age group: ag 1: 35–50 years, ag 2: 70–84 years, ag 3: >85 years) in three German cities was conducted. Data were analyzed with respect to gender and age. Most of the participants (n = 298, 64.2%), regardless of their own gender, age, or place of residence did not care about the gender of the dentist. In general, the price of the treatment does not play a role in choosing the ideal dentist. Women differ significantly from men in their choice of dentist (ANOVA p < 0.001 (preference of non-smoker), ANOVA p < 0.001 (preference, that the dentist does not smell of smoke, importance of appearance (ANOVA p < 0.001) and psycho-social skills, etc.). As age increases, professional experience and psycho-social competencies are rated as important. With the increase in age, the mean value of the desired years of professional experience increases without significant differences between age groups. The importance of advanced training (ANOVA p < 0.001; Bonferoni correction: significant difference between ag 1 and ag 2 p < 0.001, and ag 1 and ag 3 p < 0.001) decreases with age. Especially for participants aged 70 to 84 years, a relationship of trust is important. Between the places of residence, statistical differences for almost all surveyed items were found (e.g., importance that the dentist speaks the patients’ native language ANOVA p < 0.001, Bonferoni correction: significant difference between Berlin and Leipzig, Berlin and Mainz, and Leipzig and Mainz (each p < 0.001), dentist has a specialization ANOVA p < 0.001, Bonferoni correction: significant difference between Berlin and Leipzig and Berlin and Mainz (each p < 0.001), etc.). Dentists should be trained to develop psycho-social skills to meet the special demands of the increasing older population.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Dental Medicine > Klinik für Allgemein-, Behinderten- und Seniorenzahnmedizin
08 Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Pollution
Health Sciences > Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Physical Sciences > Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
Uncontrolled Keywords:Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis, Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Language:English
Date:15 July 2022
Deposited On:12 Jan 2023 09:56
Last Modified:27 Feb 2024 02:56
Publisher:MDPI Publishing
ISSN:1660-4601
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19148621
PubMed ID:35886473
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)