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Keywords:

  • communication;
  • dental;
  • dentistry;
  • education

Abstract

The aim of our study was to evaluate the subjective importance of teaching communication in the dental curriculum by conducting a survey amongst dentists, students and patients. Three questionnaires about communication-related issues were developed in which different questions could be rated on a five-point Likert scale. These questions included the subjective importance of the dental team’s friendliness, an elaborated consultation, modern office equipment or the dentist’s technical skills. Seven hundred and twenty-nine questionnaires were completed [233 by dentists (32%), 310 by students (43%) and 185 by patients (25%)]. Eighty-seven percentage of the dentists, 84% of the students and 84% of the patients supported an integration of communicational issues in dental education; 94.7% of the dentists and 77.2% of the patients attached vital importance to the dentist–patient relationship regarding the therapeutic outcomes. Dentists with prior communicational training experience would spend significantly (P < 0.001) more money for further courses. The results show the publicly perceived importance of integrating aspects of communication in dental education.