FACTORS INFLUENCING THE CHOICE OF DENTAL HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS AMONG GOVERNMENT AGENCIES WORKERS IN KOTA BHARU, KELANTAN
Oral health and dental aesthetics have become increasingly important in contemporary society. However, the public faces a wide range of choices among oral care services and facilities provided by the government and private sectors, which occasionally involve unregistered dental operators. This study aims to evaluate the public's preferences towards the selection of oral healthcare providers in Malaysia. A cross-sectional, online self-administered questionnaire was distributed to the workers in government agencies in Kota Bharu, aged between 18-60 years old from July to October 2017. Questions were primarily close-ended and consisted of 17 questions on demographics, questions on factors associated with the selection of dental service providers in Likert-scale format. Out of the 575 sent individual emails, 236 voluntarily responses were retrieved, of which 45.8% were male and 54.2% were female. The highest percentage of the respondents belongs to the age group of 31 to 40 years. The most important factors that affect the respondents’ selection of dental care providers are facilities and equipment in a dental clinic (86%), followed by dentist reputation and working experience (85.1%), and technical competency of a dentist (83.9%). Overall, the respondents demonstrated a positive response towards the selection of oral healthcare providers and dental professions. Addressing the valuable factors in promoting dental services by the registered government and private sectors are essential to developing a secure and efficient oral healthcare system for the public
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