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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(5), 450; doi:10.3390/ijerph13050450

Patients’ Perceptions of Endodontic Treatment as Part of Public Health Services: A Qualitative Study

1
Departament of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais 31270 901, Brazil
2
Departament of Social and Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais 31270 901, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 9 February 2016 / Revised: 6 April 2016 / Accepted: 22 April 2016 / Published: 27 April 2016
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Abstract

Evaluations by patients constitute an important part of the process of improving health services. This study examined patients’ perceptions of secondary dental care in three cities in Minas Gerais, Brazil based on the endodontic treatment received. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews (addressing access, treatment and results) and a field diary (direct observations and report of professionals). The interviews were audiotaped, fully transcribed, and analyzed using content analysis. Two principal themes were identified: access to service and quality of service. The difficulties in accessing service were associated with the insufficient number of professionals to meet the high demand for endodontic treatment, problems in referring from primary to secondary care and geographic barriers. Service quality was related to the presence/absence of pain and anxiety that patients experienced, the time and number of sessions required to complete treatment, how patients were treated by dentists, and whether those patients would recommend the service to other patients. Access to endodontic treatment was a problem emphasized by users, and satisfaction with the quality of the service was more related to how patients were treated than to the technical competence of the dentist. View Full-Text
Keywords: health care quality, access and evaluation; patient satisfaction; secondary care; endodontic health care quality, access and evaluation; patient satisfaction; secondary care; endodontic
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Melgaço-Costa, J.L.B.; Martins, R.C.; Ferreira, E.F.; Sobrinho, A.P.R. Patients’ Perceptions of Endodontic Treatment as Part of Public Health Services: A Qualitative Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 450.

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