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Patient Educ Couns. 2003 Jun;50(2):157-65.

Underlying dimensions of verbal communication between dentists and patients in prosthetic dentistry.

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Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, Institute of Postgraduate Dental Education, P.O. Box 1030, SE-551 11, Jönköping, Sweden.


The study explores whether the task-focused and socio-emotional dimensions of clinical communication is recognizable in the verbal communication context of prosthetic dentistry, as well as if there are other dimensions of communication in that context. Sixty-one audio recordings were made at three specialist clinics of prosthetic dentistry in Sweden. Sixty-one patients and 15 dentists participated. Sixty-one prosthetic rehabilitation periods were followed. Tooth- or implant-supported fixed prostheses were placed during this time. One visit near the end of each rehabilitation period was audiorecorded. The verbal communication was analyzed with the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS)-dental. The categories were subjected to exploratory factor analysis. Patient and dentist verbal behavior could not be defined exclusively as socio-emotional or task-focused but had to be defined in other dimensions; Emotional exchange, information exchange-patient horizon, relation building exchange, information exchange-dentist horizon, and administrative and counseling exchange. Since the 'emotional exchange' factor was found to capture the largest share of the variance in the communicated patterns, the present study suggests that prosthetic care in dentistry is basically a human relationship with strong emotional communicative content.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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