‘You have to treat the person, not the mouth only’: UK dentists’ perceptions of communication in patient consultations

Nowak, Marta Justyna, Buchanan, Heather and Asimakopoulou, Koula (2018) ‘You have to treat the person, not the mouth only’: UK dentists’ perceptions of communication in patient consultations. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 23 (6). pp. 752-761. ISSN 1465-3966

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Effective communication between patients and health professionals is a key component of patient-centred care. Although there is a large body of literature focusing on doctor-patient communication, there has been limited research related to dentist-patient communication, especially presented from the dentists’ perspective. The aim of our study was to explore UK dentists’ perceptions of communication in their consultations, and the factors they perceive may influence this. We conducted semi-structured interviews with eight dentists in UK dental NHS practices. Thematic analysis revealed three themes (‘Treating the whole person’, ‘Barriers to patient-centred communication’ and ‘Mutuality of communication’), which reflected the dentists’ perceptions of their own communication during consultations, the patients’ interaction skills, attitudes (and characteristics that may affect them), and external factors, such as time constraints, that can influence dentist-patients’ encounters. These in-depth accounts are valuable, in that we see what dentists perceive is important, obstructive and facilitative. They report using a patient-centred approach in their everyday dental practice; however this is often difficult due to factors such as time constraints. Although they emphasized that the patient has an active role to play in the communication process, it may be the case that they also need to play their part in facilitating this.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Psychology, Health & Medicine on 02.04.2018, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13548506.2018.1457167
Keywords: Dentistry; Communication; Patient-centered; Dentists’ views
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Rehabilitation and Ageing
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/13548506.2018.1457167
Depositing User: Dziunka, Patricia
Date Deposited: 11 May 2018 07:30
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2019 04:30
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/51702

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