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Patients’ and dentists’ perceptions of Tele-Dentistry at the time of COVID-19. A questionnaire-based study: Tele-dentistry at the time of COVID-19

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Article number103782
JournalJournal of Dentistry
Volume113
Early online date13 Aug 2021
DOIs
E-pub ahead of print13 Aug 2021
PublishedOct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: The results presented here show that the majority of patients were very satisfied using tele-dentistry in the five domains which were explored: ease and comprehensiveness of the video consultation, perceived helpfulness, anxiety and patient satisfaction. This was supported by qualitative statements like “I am satisfied with the video consultation. It is quite good, it saves time and it is very convenient as I look after my mother and it's hard for me to get out the house, overall, I'm very pleased”. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s) Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

King's Authors

Abstract

Objectives: COVID-19 has had a significant impact on dentistry in unforeseen ways, including a substantial rise in the development and implementation of video consultations. The research aimed to investigate dentists’ and patients’ attitudes towards dental video consultations (tele-dentistry) and to identify potential ways to improve the experience. Methods: A cross-sectional, pre-post design, online survey was carried out with patients’ and dentists’ before and after video consultations. A total of 249 participants accessed the survey and 228 of them consented to take part in the study and answered the online questions. Participants’ attitudes towards video consultations were assessed using a questionnaire constructed by a multidisciplinary team of periodontists and psychologists. The measure assessed the perceived efficacy of the video consultations on patients and the dental team. Video consultations were performed to risk assess, triage and manage remotely via a video link out at (deleted name of institution as double blinded peer review) via NHS England's Attend Anywhere platform. Results: The majority of patients strongly agreed and were satisfied using tele-dentistry in the five domains which we explored: the ease, comprehensiveness and helpfulness of the video consultations and the anxiety and satisfaction levels of the patient. Dentists and students alike felt more confident and competent after having carried out a video consultation. The majority of clinicians found the tele-dentistry platform helpful and easy to perform. Just over 70% of patients strongly agreed that the video consultation ran smoothly and 75.7% strongly agreed that they were comfortable accessing the consultation from home rather than travelling in for the consultation. Just under 80% of patients stated that they would recommend the video consultation. Conclusions: This study shows that tele-dentistry may be a valid option to help service providers and dental patients, as it seems to be well accepted by both patients and dentists. JM to typesetter. Clinical significance: Patients’ and dentists’ perceptions of Tele-Dentistry at the time of COVID-19. A questionnaire-based study. To our knowledge this is one of the first studies evaluates perceptions of patients and clinicians before and after a tele-dentistry encounter in and across different dental departments. The majority of survey participants expressed positive views towards tele-dentistry across all domains including ease and comprehensiveness of the video consultation, perceived helpfulness and anxiety and satisfaction of the patient. Dentists appear to be competent and confident to carry out these video consultations and find them to be helpful and easy to complete. As a result, we suggest readers adopt tele-dentistry in their daily activities to help patients and clinicians alike.

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