Person-centred care in dentistry--the patients' perspective.
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OBJECTIVES: To develop an understanding of the key features of person-centred care (PCC) in relation to general dental practice from a patient's perspective. BACKGROUND: PCC is acknowledged as an important dimension of quality with 'patient experience' increasingly used as a marker of quality within the NHS. A Dental Quality and Outcomes Framework (DQOF) is currently being piloted in the UK, which includes patient experience as one of the three domains. It is recognised that there is limited understanding of PCC within dentistry, with little evidence published on the subject. METHODS: This study uses qualitative methods to explore the views of 16 purposively sampled patients living in Southwest England. In-depth semi-structured interviews were recorded, transcribed, coded and analysed thematically. RESULTS: PCC was viewed as key in the delivery of high-quality care. Dimensions of PCC were identified and categorised as relational or functional aspects of care. Relational aspects of care were viewed as being central to the delivery of PCC with five components identified and named: connection, attitude, communication, empowerment and feeling valued. Functional aspects of care were identified as healthcare system and physical environment and were noted to influence PCC to a variable degree. CONCLUSION: A model of PCC in dentistry is proposed which has been generated from empirical evidence that represents the views of patients. It is hoped that this may inform and influence development of a tool to measure PCC within any future version of the DQOF.
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