An investigation on the rate of communication skills among dental students from patients’ point of view in Kerman dental school, Iran, in 2016

Raziyeh Shojaeipour, Azadeh Horri, Emad Elamdari


BACKGROUND AND AIM: The patient's viewpoint on prevention, healthy diet, and disease recovery clearly relates to the relationship between the therapist and the patient. In this research, the importance of communication techniques between the patients and the dentists are investigated in order to improve the level of functional knowledge of patients for observing the oral hygiene and carrying out the activities in the field of dental diseases prevention and treatment.

METHODS: In this study, the patients who had received dental treatment were interviewed by a dental student at a general or specialized department in one of the clinical departments and then a questionnaire was completed for each patient. Later on for measuring the data, SPSS software was used. P < 0.0500 was considered statistically significant. The collected data were analyzed by t-test, chi-square test, and logestic regression.

RESULTS: In this cross-sectional study, 276 patients were studied along with a number of students who were enrolled. Of 276 patients, 46.4% were men and 53.6% were women. The dental students were 53.6% men and 46.4% women, 79.3% were general dentists and 20.7% were specialists. The average score for answering the aforementioned questionnaire was 18.30 ± 1.91 out of 20. This score had a significant relationship with students' age (P = 0.0001), but did not have a significant relationship with the gender of the students (P = 0.2700) or that of patients (P = 0.5600).

CONCLUSION: By increasing the age of the therapists, regarding the viewpoint of the patients, the communication skills were used more effectively, but the use of communication skills was not affected by the therapists’ or patients’ gender.


Communication; Students; Patients; Dentistry

Full Text:



Horowitz AM, Clovis JC, Wang MQ, Kleinman DV. Use of recommended communication techniques by Maryland dental hygienists. J Dent Hyg 2013; 87(4): 212-23.

Andrus MR, Roth MT. Health literacy: A review. Pharmacotherapy 2002; 22(3): 282-302.

Hall JA, Roter DL, Katz NR. Meta-analysis of correlates of provider behavior in medical encounters. Med Care 1988; 26(7): 657-75.

Wolf MS, Wilson EA, Rapp DN, Waite KR, Bocchini MV, Davis TC, et al. Literacy and learning in health care. Pediatrics 2009; 124(Suppl 3): S275-S281.

Sanders LM, Shaw JS, Guez G, Baur C, Rudd R. Health literacy and child health promotion: Implications for research, clinical care, and public policy. Pediatrics 2009; 124(Suppl 3): S306-S314.

Heinrich C. Health literacy: The sixth vital sign. J Am Acad Nurse Pract 2012; 24(4): 218-23.

Horowitz AM, Kleinman DV. Oral health literacy: The new imperative to better oral health. Dent Clin North Am 2008; 52(2): 333-44, vi.

Weatherspoon DJ, Horowitz AM, Kleinman DV, Wang MQ. The use of recommended communication techniques by Maryland family physicians and pediatricians. PLoS One 2015; 10(4): e0119855.

Stenman J, Wennstrom JL, Abrahamsson KH. Dental hygienists' views on communicative factors and interpersonal processes in prevention and treatment of periodontal disease. Int J Dent Hyg 2010; 8(3): 213-8.

Kay E, Vascott D, Hocking A, Nield H, Dorr C, Barrett H. A review of approaches for dental practice teams for promoting oral health. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2016; 44(4): 313-30.

Macek MD, Atchison KA, Chen H, Wells W, Haynes D, Parker RM, et al. Oral health conceptual knowledge and its relationships with oral health outcomes: Findings from a Multi-site Health Literacy Study. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2017; 45(4): 323-9.

Harris RV, Pennington A, Whitehead M. Preventive dental visiting: A critical interpretive synthesis of theory explaining how inequalities arise. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2017; 45(2): 120-34.

Koo LW, Horowitz AM, Radice SD, Wang MQ, Kleinman DV. Nurse Practitioners' Use of Communication Techniques: Results of a Maryland Oral Health Literacy Survey. PLoS One 2016; 11(1): e0146545.

Hamasaki T, Kato H, Kumagai T, Hagihara A. Association between dentist-dental hygienist communication and dental treatment outcomes. Health Commun 2017; 32(3): 288-97.

Chapman HR, Chipchase SY, Bretherton R. Understanding emotionally relevant situations in primary dental practice. 3. Emerging narratives. Br Dent J 2015; 219(10): 491-6.

Ju X, Spencer AJ, Brennan DS. Dentist age, period and cohort effects on provision of dental services in Australia: 1983-84 to 2009-10. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2017; 45(3): 242-50.

Schwartzberg JG, Cowett A, VanGeest J, Wolf MS. Communication techniques for patients with low health literacy: A survey of physicians, nurses, and pharmacists. Am J Health Behav 2007; 31(Suppl 1): S96-104.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Raziyeh Shojaeipour, Azadeh Horri, Emad Elamdari

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Unported License which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works for non-commercial purposes from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited properly.