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Article: Volume 46 Number 6 Page 580 - June 2019

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  Dent Update 2019; 46: 580-591

Patient Satisfaction:  Patient Feedback Questionnaires – Why Bother?

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Abstract: The aim of this article is to encourage general dental practitioners (GDPs) to obtain feedback from patients on a regular basis and act on it. This article will familiarize clinicians with the current concepts of patient experience, patient satisfaction and patient reported outcome measures. It will explore the reasons why dentists should engage in seeking patients’ opinions and will shed light on some of the validated questionnaires which are in use in the UK and internationally. Aspects of care considered important by patients are explored and important questions which should be included when developing individual practice questionnaires are highlighted. We build on previous Dental Update articles on this subject by taking the reader through the concept of the Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) cycle and how this can be utilized. This paper will not only allow dentists to improve and grow their practices, but also contribute towards clinical governance and the ethos of patient-centred care.

Clinical relevance: This article enables dental professionals to appreciate the importance of obtaining patient feedback on key issues relating to their dental care. It suggests ways in which dental teams could engage in obtaining patient feedback and act upon it to develop the quality of services.

Author notes: Meenakshi Kumar, BDS, MFDS, Dental Core Trainee Year 2, Restorative Dentistry, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust (email:, Grazielle C Mattos Savage, PhD, MSc, BDS, Visiting Research Associate, Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences, Centre for Host Microbiome Interactions, King’s College London, James W Aukett, MA, MSc, BDS, DDPH RCS(Eng) MCMI, Dentist, GDP Compliance Consultant and Jennifer E Gallagher, MBE, PhD, MSc, DCDP, BDS, FDS RCS(Eng), DDPH RCS(Eng), FHEA, Dean for International Affairs, Newland-Pedley Professor of Oral Health Strategy/Honorary Consultant in Dental Public Health, Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences, King’s College London, Bessemer Road, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RW, UK.

Objective: To encourage GDPs to obtain feedback from patients on a regular basis and act on it.