AIM: To measure the level of patient satisfaction in the dental outpatient clinics from a group of state hospitals in Turkey and explore the factors that may influence satisfaction. METHODS: In a cross-sectional study, patients attending the outpatient clinics state hospitals from 9 provinces were interviewed. Data regarding socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents were collected and a patient satisfaction questionnaire, which consisted of 29 statements regarding various aspects of satisfaction, were completed during face-to-face interviews (n=641, response rate 89%). RESULTS: There was no difference between the mean satisfaction scores of the study group with regard to socio-demographic characteristics except for the type of health insurance held by the patient. Patients covered by state pension funds had significantly higher satisfaction scores than the self-employed group with public insurance. Patients were most satisfied with privacy (82.1% of the respondents). Waiting time was the least satisfactory issue, with only 41.8% of patients reporting satisfaction with waiting time. CONCLUSION: The type of health insurance of the patients seems to be a significant predictor of dental patient satisfaction in Turkish state hospitals. Privacy was the most satisfactory service attribute whereas the waiting time had the lowest satisfactory rating.
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