Patient Experiences of Medical Screening Performed by the Dental Services: A Qualitative Study


Objective: To explore how medical screening performed by the dental service was perceived from the patient’s perspective. Material and methods: Medical screening for high blood pressure and high plasma glucose was performed on 170 patients at a dental clinic in a small town in central Sweden. Seventeen individual interviews were conducted with a strategic sampling of these patients. The interviews were recorded and transcribed. The transcriptions were coded and categorized in a manifest analysis, followed by a latent, interpretive analysis. Results: The manifest analysis resulted in three categories: Positive attitude to screening and dental professionals which need to have specific knowledge of medical screening; Dental care which provides continuity but is not a neutral environment; and Feedback on the medical screening results and desired cooperation between dental and health care services. The latent analysis pointed out the importance of the patient’s feeling that the procedure is carried out properly and safely, and requests for clear feedback concerning the results of the screening. Conclusions: The interviewees experienced the dental care service as providing continuity. They would like to have regular medical screenings at their regular dental appointments to identify risks of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. However, they expressed that it was important for the dental care staff to have the necessary medical knowledge. They also wanted good cooperations between the dental and health care services, with clear feedback to the patients about both positive and negative results and, when appropriate, referrals to the health care service.

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Friman, G. , Golestani, G. , Kalkal, A. , Wårdh, I. and Hultin, M. (2013) Patient Experiences of Medical Screening Performed by the Dental Services: A Qualitative Study. Open Journal of Stomatology, 3, 497-503. doi: 10.4236/ojst.2013.39081.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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