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ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 36-41

Attitudes and practices of dental students in providing oral health-care services to underserved rural patients attending dental institutions of Telangana, India


1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sri Sai College of Dental Surgery, Vikarabad, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Meghna Institute of Dental Sciences, Nizamabad, India
3 Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Meghna Institute of Dental Sciences, Nizamabad, India
4 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sri Sai College of Dental Surgery, Vikarabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rajbhushan Dande
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sri Sai College of Dental Surgery, Vikarabad 501102, Telangana
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JPBS.JPBS_215_18

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Introduction: Attitude is a relatively enduring organization of beliefs around an object, subject, or concept, which predisposes one to respond in some preferential manner. It decides one’s action. Dental students frequently come across underserved rural population and must have good attitudes toward them, so that the care delivered to them will be optimum. Aim: To assess the attitudes and practices of dental students in providing oral health-care services to underserved rural patients. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among final-year Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) students, interns, and postgraduate students who are involved in providing dental care in dental institutions of Telangana State, India. A 15-item, self-structured, pretested questionnaire was administered. Descriptive statistics were calculated using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software, version 20.0. Attitudes and practices of undergraduates and postgraduates were compared using paired t-test. Results: A total of 574 students participated in the study. Approximately 73.3% of the dental students agreed that they personally want to be involved in providing oral health care for the underserved and 27.1% students disagreed that underserved patients are subjects on whom they can train and expertise. Approximately 56.62% of dental students often asked patients about the expenses they bear for attending a single dental visit and 53.48% tried to minimize the number of appointments required for the patients. No significant difference was observed in attitudes between undergraduates and postgraduates. Conclusion: Dental students had moderate attitude toward underserved patients but this was not reflected in their practices.


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