Indian patients' attitudes towards chairside screening in a dental setting for medical conditions

Kaustubh Sansare, Mamta Raghav, Abhiram Kasbe, Freny Karjodkar, Neeraj Sharma, Ambika Gupta, Harneet Singh, Asha Iyengar, Seema Patil, Sanarpalayam C Selvamuthukumar, Chandrasekaran Krithika, Michael Glick, Barbara L Greenberg
International Dental Journal 2015, 65 (5): 269-76

BACKGROUND: India has a high prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes mellitus (DM), tuberculosis (TB), human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune-deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and hepatitis B. United States-based studies indicate provider and patient support for medical screening in the dental setting. We assessed patient attitudes towards, and willingness to participate in, medical screening in the dental setting in India.

METHOD: A 5-point Likert scale survey (with scores ranging from 1=very important/willing to 5=very unimportant/unwilling) was given to a convenience sample of adult patients visiting five university-based dental clinics (clinic group) and one private-practice setting (private group). The Mann-Whitney U-test was used to compare mean response scores between patient groups. Logistic regression was used to assess factors associated with a favourable outcome.

RESULTS: Both patient groups felt it important for dentists to identify increased risk for medical conditions (89.3% vs. 94.9%, respectively; P=0.02). The majority of patients were willing to have a dentist screen for the specified conditions: CVD (80.6% clinic and 84.5% private); DM (84.5% clinic and 77.5% private); TB (76.7% clinic and 73.2% private); hepatitis (73.3% clinic and 67.5% private); and HIV/AIDS (71.0% clinic and 70.5% private). The majority of patients were willing to participate in chairside screening that yielded immediate results (84.6% clinic and 86.1% private), discuss results immediately (85.8% clinic and 87.2% private) and pay 150 Indian rupees (55.9% clinic and 91.7% private). Younger patients (<40 years of age) were significantly less likely to respond favourably to: importance of medical screening in dental settings [adjusted odds ratio (OR)=0.63; 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 0.26-0.84] and be available for screening that yielded immediate results (adjusted OR=0.63; 95% CI: 0.40-0.99).

CONCLUSIONS: Indian dental patients were in favour of chairside medical screening.

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