Effects of tooth scaling reminders for dental outpatients

Chi Chia J. Cheng, Chung Yi Li, Yih Jin Hu, Hsi Che Shen, Shay Min Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigated the effect of sending reminders for patients to attend appointments for tooth scaling. A total of 389 outpatients were assigned to three intervention groups (reminders sent by postcard, mobile-phone text message or telephone call) and one control group. Reminders accompanied by short health education messages were sent to patients in each of the intervention groups. The outpatient revisiting behaviour of the patients was monitored. Patients who were reminded to come in for tooth scaling were 2.6 (95% CI 1.3-5.4) to 2.9 (CI 1.1-7.8) times more likely to revisit compared to those who were not reminded. For every one point increase in the patient satisfaction score, patients were 3.8 (CI 1.2-11.6) times more likely to revisit. Patients with a high level of patient satisfaction and who had also received a reminder had the highest return rates (26%). Most patients (89-96%) had good feelings regarding the reminders; 65% of the patients agreed that reminders had enhanced their intention to revisit; 91% of patients hoped to continue to receive reminders concerning broader dental health information. A reminder combined with health education is an effective way of improving preventative dental visiting behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-189
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Informatics

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