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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 16-21

Assessment of health-care ethical challenges in a dental hospital: A patient's perspective

1 Department of Periodontics, College of Dental Sciences, Davangere, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, College of Dental Sciences, Davangere, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Implantology, College of Dental Sciences, Davangere, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Ashok Ranjit Chakrapani
Room No. 4, Department of Periodontics, College of Dental Sciences, Davangere - 577 004, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_8_20

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Introduction: Ethical practice in health care is defined as consisting of informed consent, respect for integrity, and patient's autonomy. In the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of disputes ranging from inadequate and inappropriate treatments to serious problems of medical malpractice and negligence. There is thus a growing need to identify whether or not patients are satisfied with services provided and which ethical challenges, if any, patients value most in a health-care setting. This is not only to elevate the quality of treatment but also to potentially avoid unnecessary legal complications. Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the opinion of patients at a dental hospital about some commonly encountered ethical challenges and to investigate the ethical challenges which patients feel most important to them. Materials and Methods: One hundred and two participants were recruited for this cross-sectional study among patients who have visited the dental hospital more than twice. Each participant completed a self-administered questionnaire on some common ethical challenges. A three-point Likert scale was used. Data were entered in Microsoft Excel 2016 spreadsheet (Microsoft, USA), and Chi-square test was performed using SPSS (IBM) software (version 23.0). The results were considered as statistically significant when P < 0.05. Results: Seventy percent of the participants felt that doctors were competent in completing procedure in the time frame, and 82% felt that doctors followed the personal hygiene protocol. Only 47% of the participants felt that doctors accommodated missed appointments/lateness. Category E (infection control) was the category most commonly selected as the most important ethical challenge to patients with 36% of the participants. Conclusion: Participants were satisfied with a majority of the clinical services provided. The majority of the patients considered doctor competence and infection control as important issues. There is, however, a general lack of awareness regarding ethical issues in the dental field.

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