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Provider Appearance: A Survey of Guardian and Patient Preference

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Purpose: The purposes of this study were to: (1) assess children's preferences for their pediatric dentist's attire; (2) assess guardians' preferences for their child's pediatric dentist's attire; and (3) determine which attributes are associated with different types of attire. This was a cross-sectional descriptive study using survey methodology with patients and parents who attended the pediatric dental clinic at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va., USA.

Methods: A total sample of 100 guardians and 97 pediatric patients completed the computer-based questionnaire. Four subjects posed for photographs wearing various combinations of attire (professional, casual, white coat, scrubs).

Results: Among guardians, 56 percent reported preferring a provider in scrubs, with white coat the second most preferred attire (39 percent) for their children. For pediatric patients, scrubs were still most often selected, but at a lower rate (43 percent), and the white coat remained the second most preferred (37 percent).

Conclusions: Children and parents have strong perceptions and preferences regarding their dentists' attire.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Resident, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, in the School of Dentistry, at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va., USA 2: Associate professor and graduate program director, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, in the School of Dentistry, at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va., USA;, Email: [email protected] 3: Assistant professor, Department of Periodontics, in the School of Dentistry, at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va., USA 4: Professor and a graduate program director, Department of Orthodontics, in the School of Dentistry, at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va., USA 5: Associate professor and director, Oral Health Services Research Core, Philips Institute for Oral Health Research, at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va., USA

Publication date: 01 September 2017

More about this publication?
  • Acquired after the merger between the American Society of Dentistry for Children and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry in 2002, the Journal of Dentistry for Children (JDC) is an internationally renowned journal whose publishing dates back to 1934. Published three times a year, JDC promotes the practice, education and research specifically related to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. It covers a wide range of topics related to the clinical care of children, from clinical techniques of daily importance to the practitioner, to studies on child behavior and growth and development. JDC also provides information on the physical, psychological and emotional conditions of children as they relate to and affect their dental health.
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