DENTAL CARE SEEKING BEHAVIOUR AMONG PATIENTS OF A TERTIARY CARE SETTING
The aim of this study was to assess the dental health care seeking behavior among patients visiting the dental clinics of a tertiary care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. A questionnaire based study was done by distributing questionnaires to 126 adult patients visiting the outpatient dental clinics of the Aga Khan University and Hospital. The questionnaire inquired about reasons for visiting dentist, frequency of visits, reason for current visit and knowledge about dental health seeking behavior. Data Analysis was done using SPSS version 21 to assess the responses of patients regarding their awareness, attitudes and practices towards dental health care seeking. Nearly half of the patients (57%) last visited a dentist within past one year, 3% never went to a dentist before. Majority (35%) presented with toothache. A significant proportion of patients (71%) informed that they visit a dentist only when a problem arises. Significant variation was found among patients regarding awareness of frequency and importance of seeking regular dental care. Poor awareness, attitudes and behavior was noted among patients visiting the dental clinics of tertiary care setting in Pakistan This poor behavior seems to be a regional pattern in south east Asia.