Dental Tribune International

Job satisfaction: Dentists rate highly in new study

By Brendan Day, Dental Tribune International
October 20, 2021

JEONJU, South Korea: Though dentistry is generally a highly paid profession, stressors such as financial pressure and a high level of responsibility can make it a challenging career choice. In a new systematic review and meta-analysis, researchers have sought to measure the level of satisfaction dentists derive from their job. Their findings indicate, among other things, that dental specialists may have greater job satisfaction than general dental practitioners.

The review was conducted by researchers from Jeonbuk National University in South Korea and Hue University in Vietnam. A total of nine studies published between 1990 and 2017 were included in their meta-analysis and investigated the attitudes of dentists from the US, Canada, China, South Korea, Lithuania and Egypt. Eight of the studies employed a modified version of the Dentist Satisfaction Survey (DSS), a measuring instrument developed by Shugars et al. in 1990 that has since been widely adopted for this purpose.

In their meta-analysis of the results, the researchers found that 76.6% of dentists were satisfied with their choice of career. The studies that measured job satisfaction among both general dentists and specialists, including orthodontists and paediatric dentists, found that these specialists generally had a higher level of job satisfaction. Overall, six factors were found to be associated with higher job satisfaction: patient relationships, respect, delivery of care, staff, professional relationships and professional environment.

In their discussion, the authors noted that most of the studies they analysed had been conducted in high-income countries, thereby limiting their understanding of job satisfaction levels among dentists in middle- and low-income countries. In addition, factors such as age, sex and public versus private dental services were not analysed.

“Further studies should be performed in middle- and low-income countries using DSS including stress evaluation,” the authors wrote in their conclusion.

The study, titled “Dentist job satisfaction: A systematic review and meta-analysis”, was published in the October 2021 issue of the International Dental Journal.

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