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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 195-200

Assessment of trust in dentists using the dentist-trust scale in Belagavi City, Karnataka, India: A cross-sectional hospital-based study

1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, KAHER, Belagavi, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, KCDSH, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Barkha Shivkumar Tiwari
Department of Public Health Dentistry, KAHER, Belagavi, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_215_20

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Background: Trust is essential for a successful dentist–patient relationship. A higher trust is associated with a greater care-seeking behavior and greater adherence to the treatment regimens. Despite the importance of trust relationship of patients toward their dentist, the phenomenon is rarely studied in developing countries. Aim: The aim of the study was to determine the extent of patient's trust on dentist and to assess the factors affecting the dentist–patient trust relationship. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive survey was carried among 397 patients visiting the outpatient department of a dental hospital in Belagavi city, Karnataka. Men and women aged above 18 years who have visited dentist at least once during the past 5 years were included in the study. A 11-item Dental Trust Scale (DTS) measuring trust in the dental profession was used. Descriptive statistics including mean scores were described for DTS. Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) using Principal Axis Factoring was used to explore the dimensionality of the DTS and associations between DTS mean scores and categorical variables were tested using Chi-square test. Results: The DTS had reliable internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.63) and EFA revealed a four-factor solution. Lower trust levels were associated with previously experienced pain, feeling like they were going to gag, fainting or embarrassment, and any personal problems with the dentist. Higher trust levels were associated with dentist last visited, people who visited dentist at least once a year and among higher SES. Conclusion: The majority of people appeared to exhibit trust in dentists generally.

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