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Caregiver Preferences of Greetings by Dental Staff

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Purpose: To assess the attitudes and preferences of caregivers accompanying children to dental appointments toward greetings by dental staff.
Methods: English-speaking caregivers accompanying children to dental appointments completed a sex-specific survey consisting of 21 questions pertaining to the current visit, demographics, subject's relationship to the child, preference for greeting by providers, and previous uncomfortable experiences with greetings by providers.
Results: The sample included 238 subjects: 197 (82.8 percent) biological parents; 17 (7.1 percent) biological grandmothers/grandfathers; and 24 (10.0 percent) adults had a different relationship to the child. The single most preferred greeting was "mom" (70.0 percent) or "dad" (72.2 percent), with some variation in preferences among caregivers who were not biological parents. The second most preferred greeting was the first name for both males and females. African-American females preferred to be greeted by the first name compared to white females (P <.03). Older females preferred to be greeted by "grandma" compared to younger females (P <.01).
Conclusion: No single greeting was acceptable to all subjects. Using "mom" or "dad" was acceptable to most caregivers but not universally accepted. First name was acceptable to most, including caregivers who were not biological parents.
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Keywords: COMMUNICATION; CULTURALLY COMPETENT CARE; PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY; PROFESSIONAL-FAMILY RELATIONS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Dr. Seymour is a dentist in private practice, Erie, Pa., USA 2: Dr. Townsend is chief and an associate professor, Department of Dentistry, Nationwide Children's Hospital and Division of Pediatric Dentistry, The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, Columbus, Ohio, USA;, Email: [email protected] 3: Dr. Peng is a data scientist, Research Information Solutions and Innovation Research and Development, The Research Institute, Nationwide Children's Hospital, all in Columbus, Ohio, USA 4: Dr. Claman, Department of Dentistry, Nationwide Children's Hospital and Division of Pediatric Dentistry, The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, Columbus, Ohio, USA 5: Dr. Hammersmith, clinical assistant professor, Department of Dentistry, Nationwide Children's Hospital and Division of Pediatric Dentistry, The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, Columbus, Ohio, USA 6: Dr. Casamassimo is a professor emeritus, Department of Dentistry, Nationwide Children's Hospital and Division of Pediatric Dentistry, The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, Columbus, Ohio, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2020

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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