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Br Dent J. 1994 Nov 5;177(9):332-4.

General anaesthesia: who decides, and why?

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Centre for Social Marketing, Strathclyde University, Glasgow.


This study sought to determine the relative influence dentists and parents have on the decision to give a general anaesthetic to a child, and to identify the factors that influence that decision. The research involved group discussions and in-depth interviewing as a method of investigating attitudes and behaviour in greater detail. The results indicated that parents are not able to make informed choices about general anaesthesia being used on their child; the dentist has the greatest influence on the decision to use general anaesthesia; and that this decision is often influenced by non-clinical factors. These non-clinical factors were identified as: the norms of the dentist, overall attitudes to general anaesthesia and how general anaesthesia provision was structured locally. The findings suggest that any attempt to reduce the current levels of general anaesthesia further must address these factors, whilst taking into account the needs of patients and dentists.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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