PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to assess parents’ satisfaction with the preventive dental care their children received in medical offices.
METHODS: Caregivers accompanying Medicaid children for their medical visits at 30 practices, with at least 1 physician providing dental services, completed questionnaires just before and 12 months after initial dental care visits. Information at follow-up was obtained on the type of dental services received and parents’ satisfaction with this care using questions adapted from the Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Survey. Child, parent, and practice characteristics were used in logistic regression to predict categories representing the least satisfaction.
RESULTS: About 92% of 342 parents who recalled at least 1 medical visit with dental care reported that the provider usually or always explained things in a way they could understand, and 84% reported that the provider spent enough time with their child. Seventy-seven percent rated overall dental care greater than 7 on an 11-point scale with 10 indicating the best care. Parents reporting race other than Caucasian or African American, mostly Hispanic or Asian, were the least satisfied with interpersonal aspects of care. Poor child oral health and lack of follow-up preventive dental care were associated with low ratings for communication, time, and overall care.
CONCLUSIONS: Most parents rated highly their children’s preventive dental care. Because it usually is attached to medical visits for other reasons, improvements in dental care quality may require process and systems initiatives that address the delivery of all pediatric care in a patient centered and culturally appropriate manner.
Rozier RG, Slade GD, Zeldin LP, Wang H.
Pediatr Dent. 2005 Jul-Aug;27(4):313-22.