Assessment of dental professionals' preparedness for treating patients with special health care needs in Lahore, Pakistan

Main Article Content

Wajiha Alamgir
Uzma Jabbar Khan
Zubair Maqsood
Sultan Muhammad Sarang
Kashif Siddique


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate general dentists' perceptions, knowledge, and attitudes regarding the provision of dental services to patients with special health care needs (SHCN).

METHODS: This cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted at the University Dental Hospital, University of Lahore, Pakistan, from May 2022 to October 2022, using non-probability purposive sampling. The study included house officers, postgraduate residents, and general dental practitioners aged up to 30 years. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed to 220 participants, gathering demographic data and assessing their knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes toward SHCN patients. Data analysis was performed using SPSS version 25.

RESULTS: Out of 220 dental professionals, 85 (38.6%) were male and 135 (61.3%) were female. House officers comprised the majority (n=131, 59.5%), followed by postgraduate trainees (n=47, 21.4%) and general dental practitioners (n=42, 19.1%). The mean age of participants was 24.93±2.45 years. A significant portion (n=171; 77.7%) exhibited limited knowledge about SHCN patients, with only 2.7% (n=6) being well-informed. Frequent interactions with SHCN patients were reported by 23.6% (n=52), and 55.5% (n=122) believed there was insufficient experience among dental practitioners in treating these patients.

CONCLUSION: The study highlighted a significant knowledge gap and perceived challenges in treating SHCN patients among general dentists. Addressing these issues requires reforms in dental education, including enhanced training and curriculum modifications to improve exposure to and management of SHCN patients.

Article Details

How to Cite
Alamgir, W., U. J. Khan, Z. Maqsood, S. M. Sarang, and K. Siddique. “Assessment of Dental professionals’ Preparedness for Treating Patients With Special Health Care Needs in Lahore, Pakistan”. KHYBER MEDICAL UNIVERSITY JOURNAL, vol. 16, no. 2, June 2024, doi:10.35845/kmuj.2024.23486.
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