Establishing a good dentist-patient relationship: Skills defined from the dental faculty perspective

Cesar A. Orsini, Oscar M. Jerez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The importance of developing good dentist-patient relationships has been well documented, but previous studies have focused on social techniques, not considering the psychological and behavioral characteristics of patients, and have used definitions and instruments that were not dental-specific. Therefore, the aims of this study were to propose a definition of dentist-patient relationship skills, derived from dental faculty members’ criteria and informed by Emotional Intelligence concepts, and to propose a preliminary dental-specific, face-valid, and reliable self-assessment instrument. The study was conducted in three phases. Phases I and II defined dentist-patient relationship competence through literature analysis and semi-structured interviews with expert key informants, establishing the outcome skills. In Phase III, the instrument was constructed and piloted. Communication skills and basic psychological tools resulted in core topics for use in practice. The definition both specifies and broadens social interactions in dentistry by including dental faculty members’ criteria and topics such as psychological tools and pre-, intra-, and postoperative topics appropriate for use during consultation, examination, and treatment. The instrument was found suitable, reasonable, and accessible with a Cronbach’s alpha level of 0.95. Future studies are needed to confirm the definition, as well as the instrument’s validity, reliability, transference, and sensitivity to the dental educational environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1405-1415
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Dental Education
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2014

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