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Involving patients in treatment decisions: a delicate balancing act for Swedish dentists
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Health Services Research.
Örebro university. (School of Health and Medicine)
2014 (English)In: Health Expectations, ISSN 1369-6513, E-ISSN 1369-7625, Vol. 17, no 4, 500-510 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background  This study focuses on patients' participation in treatment decisions related to the delivery of oral health care in the social welfare state of Sweden. In 1985, the National Dental Service Act gave dental patients the right to take an active role in decisions regarding their treatment and, in doing so, strengthened them as consumers. Little is known how dentists in Sweden have adapted to this change.

Objective  This study explores how dentists in Sweden perceive and experience involving patients in dental treatment decisions.

Design  Data were collected from open-ended interviews with nineteen dentists, and an inductive qualitative content analysis was chosen to analyse the transcribed interviews.

Findings  Involving patients in treatment decisions appeared to be delicate balancing acts between the ideals of patient involvement and the reality of how it is practised in Sweden. These balancing acts in turn revealed obstacles to patient involvement and the role that economy can play on the decisions of some patients regarding their treatment.

Conclusions  This study has given insight into a relationship in which some dentists in Sweden find it hard to adapt to and change their professional role with patients who appear to act more as consumers. For these dentists, better practice of patient involvement may require adoption of a more consumerist approach. However, in situations where economy influences patients' treatment choices, the ideals of patient involvement may remain unattainable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 17, no 4, 500-510 p.
Keyword [en]
onsumer, content analysis, dentist’s professional role, informed decision making, professionals-as-agents, qualitative research approach, shared decision making, Sweden
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-159282DOI: 10.1111/j.1369-7625.2012.00778.xISI: 000340094700005PubMedID: 22512804OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-159282DiVA: diva2:443672
Available from: 2011-09-26 Created: 2011-09-26 Last updated: 2014-09-08Bibliographically approved

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