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Assessing patient perspectives and drivers to seek periodontal care in a university-based, post-graduate periodontal clinic

  • Author(s): Temlock, Alec Jacob
  • Advisor(s): Ryder, Mark
  • et al.
Abstract

Despite numerous reports regarding investigators for care and overall patient satisfaction of pre-doctoral care, there is little evidence suggesting why patients seek periodontal care and level of satisfaction in a university-based, post-graduate periodontal clinic. This study assessed reasons patients decided to seek periodontal treatment at the UCSF Post-Graduate (PG) Periodontal Clinic. It is hypothesized that cost of care is the primary driver for patients seeking care, although other data was collected as well.

The purpose of this study was five-fold: (1) to define the patient population seeking care at UCSF PG Periodontal Clinic; (2) to determine the motivating factors patients use to decide where to seek treatment; (3) to determine patient satisfaction; (4) to evaluate treatment completion rates, and (5) to evaluate the effect of monetary compensation in response rates.

UCSF PG Periodontal patients were asked to complete a questionnaire. A randomized, computer-generated sample (n=400) was obtained. The sample was then randomized (1:1) towards subjects who received a small compensation (n=200) or no compensation (n=200). This tested the hypothesis that compensation would affect the response rates for the questionnaire.

Overall, the response rate was 39.3%. The respondents' average age was 57.7 years old and tended to be predominately white (59.5%), male (54.8%), and employed (52.3%). Most respondents tended to view their overall health as very good. The primary motivator towards seeking care in this setting was cost (57.8%). Participants tended to rate their satisfaction as "very satisfied" (58.8%) and completed all proposed treatment (60.3%). Those who completed treatment tended to be more satisfied with their treatment (OR=1.87), be in better-perceived health (OR=1.482), and be slightly older (OR=1.028). Lastly, compensation did affect the response rate among participants, with the compensated group more likely to return the questionnaire (OR=2.509, p<0.001).

The authors confirmed the initial hypotheses that cost was the primary motivator for patients seeking care and response rates were affected by compensation. The information gathered will allow the program to take specific steps towards addressing patient satisfaction measures and treatment completion rates to maximize the resident educational experience and improve overall relations with the patient population.

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