A scoping review to explore patient trust in dentistry: the definition, assessment and dental professionals’ perception

Siyang Yuan (Lead / Corresponding author), Deepti John, Shambhunath Shambhunath, Gerry Humphris

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Abstract

Background A trusting dentist-patient relationship is pivotal in providing person-centred care. This scoping review aims to identify how trust is defined, measured and perceived by dental professionals. Methods The Joanna Briggs Institute framework was adopted. A search strategy was developed using MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) terms and key words. Medline/PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO and CINAHL were searched. Data were synthesised using thematic analysis. Findings In total, 16 studies were included that frequently used quantitative research methodology. Only four studies provided definition of trust. Many studies employed either Dental Trust Scale or Dental Beliefs Survey to measure dentist-patient trust, although others developed their own items. Limited research suggested that the dental professionals appreciated communication was paramount to building a trusting relationship with patients. Conclusion No consensus was found on the definition of trust, nor on a preferred assessment tool to measure dentist-patient trust. The limited evidence intimated that dental professionals acknowledged the importance of effective communication in building a trusting alliance with patients. The scarcity of relevant research highlights the need for more robust investigations of trust in dental care.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Early online date7 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Jun 2023

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