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Assessing dental patients for their risk of being carriers of a blood-borne virus: the views of final year dental students

Assessing dental patients for their risk of being carriers of a blood-borne virus: the views of final year dental students

Journal of Dentistry 21(2): 99-104

A questionnaire was sent to final year dental students in all but one of the dental schools in the UK in 1991. The response was 447 out of 739 (60.5%). The students were asked about how they intended to approach various aspects of patient care once they were qualified and in practice. Almost half (44%) said they would use a cross-infection policy in which precautions would be stepped up for 'risky' patients. This study was undertaken to determine what they think are factors which might identify a patient who is infected, or at risk of being infected, by either hepatitis B virus or the human immunodeficiency virus. Those who said they would take personal histories to determine a patient's risk (30%) seemed prepared to ask about experiences which have relatively low predictive value for infection (e.g. blood transfusions), yet are reluctant to ask more pertinent questions, i.e. those concerning sexual activity. Those who would attempt to assess patients' risk status without asking 'intrusive questions' (14%) seem to have differing views about what sort of observable factors would be useful in framing such an assessment.

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Accession: 045309702

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 8473599

DOI: 10.1016/0300-5712(93)90153-h

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