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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The impact of communication and cultural diversity in utilizing dental services among Saudi Arabian students in U.S.A.
by Bugis, Bussma Ahmed, Dr.P.H., The University of Texas School of Public Health, 2012, 126; 3552894
Abstract (Summary)

Objectives: The purpose of this study is to understand the perceived effects of patient-dental staff communication and cultural diversity on the utilization of dental services in the U.S. by Saudi Arabian students who live in the U.S. and enrolled into the King Abdullah Scholarship program. Methods: The study design was an analytical cross-sectional study. Data for this study was obtained from the Saudi Dental Servicers Utilization Survey, a voluntary internet survey available online for one month through Facebook. Ordered logistic regression analyses and multinomial logistic regression analyses were used to measure the relationships between patient-dental staff communication and cultural diversity on the utilization of dental services. Results: Eight hundred and forty-seven responses were analyzed for this study. Overall, the majority of Saudi students reported having excellent communication experience with dental providers in the U.S. More than 58% of respondents reported at least one regular dental visit last year. Factors that influenced the use of regular dental care were: dentist's explanation of treatment plan, response of dental staff to patient's needs, respectful and polite dental staff, dental staff kindness, availability of up-to-date equipment, and overall communication with dentist. However, the utilization of emergency dental care was not associated with any measurement of patient-dental provider communication. Overall future utilization of dental care is associated with all aspects of patient-dental staff communication measured in this survey. Furthermore, more utilization of regular dental care was related to respondent's perception of the importance of trustworthiness dental staff and the importance of a dentist's reputation was only marginally associated. Respondent's perception of dentist's reputation was associated with more use of emergency dental services. Respondents are more likely to anticipate using dental care in the future if they perceived trustworthiness dental staff, and the dentist's reputation as influencing factors to their usage of dental services. Conclusions: Patient-dental staff communication was partially associated with utilization of regular dental care, not associated with utilization of emergency dental care, and broadly associated with anticipated future utilization of dental care. In addition, trustworthy dental staff, and a dentist's reputation were considered to be strong influencing factors towards utilization of dental services.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Morgan, Robert
Commitee: Franzini, Luisa, Gammon, Elizabeth
School: The University of Texas School of Public Health
Department: Policy & Community Health
School Location: United States -- Texas
Source: DAI-B 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Dentistry, Public health, Health care management
Keywords: Cultural diversity, Cultural influencing factors, Dental services utilization, Patient-provider communication, Saudi Arabian students
Publication Number: 3552894
ISBN: 978-1-267-91742-3
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