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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 41-44
Difference in the level of knowledge regarding Consumer Protection Act among dentist before and after interventional program: A comparative study


1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Surendera Dental College and Research Institute, Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Dr. D.Y Patil Dental College and Hospital, Dr. D.Y Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune, India

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Date of Web Publication11-Oct-2017
 

   Abstract 

Introduction: Knowledge about medical ethics and Consumer Protection Act (CPA) is very essential now a day as it is the era of litigations. Thus, this study was performed to assess the level of knowledge regarding CPA among dentist before and after the interventional program.
Materials and Methods: A survey was carried out among dentist who was working independently or in institutes using a self-structured questionnaire comprising of 24 questions regarding the awareness of CPA.
Results: Before intervention, the mean knowledge score of MDS (9.17 ± 1.91) was more than postgraduation (PG) students (8.54 ± 1.79) and BDS (7.83 ± 1.68), but after intervention, the mean knowledge score of PG (15.28 ± 2.27) got increased to more than the MDS (13.43 ± 1.98) and BDS (10.96 ± 1.47).
Conclusion: With increasing incidents of litigations in relation to medical profession the level of knowledge toward CPA needs to be upgraded.

Keywords: Aware, Consumer Protection Act, dentist

How to cite this article:
Gijwani D, Singh S, Mathur A, Makkar DK, Aggarwal VP, Sharma A. Difference in the level of knowledge regarding Consumer Protection Act among dentist before and after interventional program: A comparative study. J Educ Ethics Dent 2016;6:41-4

How to cite this URL:
Gijwani D, Singh S, Mathur A, Makkar DK, Aggarwal VP, Sharma A. Difference in the level of knowledge regarding Consumer Protection Act among dentist before and after interventional program: A comparative study. J Educ Ethics Dent [serial online] 2016 [cited 2019 Oct 16];6:41-4. Available from: http://www.jeed.in/text.asp?2016/6/1/41/216517



   Introduction Top


In the past few decades, enormous scientific and technological advancements reduced the mortality, morbidity rate, and improved overall quality of human life.[1] This credit is not only to the recent advancement in health care but also due to the capabilities of the doctors, who implement these techniques on to the patients.[2]

The relationship between doctor and patient is based on trust and confidence.[3] At the same time, certain negative aspects came up, such as ethical issues, commercialization of medical fields, and corporate culture for patient management. All these changes significantly affected the trust and relationship between a doctor and the patient.[4]

With the inclusion of medical field under consumer court vigilance the number of cases reported against this noble profession has increased, it is being estimated that 98,000 cases are being filed against doctors every year in the United States[5] on the grounds of negligence or mistakes committed by medical professionals.

Medical negligence has no place in the code of ethics which are being laid on principle of nonmaleficence which means to do no harm. The foundation of medical ethics was laid according to the Hippocrates School (400–300 BC) and since then the idea has revolutionized through different stages.[6] Contemporary medical ethics and bioethics began after the World War II as a result of contemptible issues in medical research and medical interventions. In the developed countries, medical ethics appeared as recognizable academic discipline and became a compulsory part of the medical curriculum since 1993.[7]

It was on 13th November 1995 that the honorable supreme court of India delivered judgment on the application of Consumer Protection Act (CPA), 1986 to the medical/dental profession, hospitals, dispensaries, nursing homes, and other related services.[8] The first and the only Act of its kind in India, it has enabled ordinary consumers to secure less expensive and often speedy redressal of their grievances. The main purpose of this act was to protect the interest of the consumers of different commodities which is available to them but after paying they do not get the standard quality of service.

Thus, it becomes imperative for health professionals today to be aware about negligent acts in the dental profession and CPA. Thus, this study was designed to assess knowledge regarding CPA among dental professionals before and after an interventional program providing a comparative data regarding the knowledge of health professionals.


   Materials and Methods Top


A descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted among all dental professionals registered under the competent authority of Dental Council of India and was enrolled with Indian Dental Association, who were working independently or in institutes in Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan, India. To have sufficient sample students perusing their postgraduation (PG) recognized by Dental Council of India were also considered. Before starting, ethical clearance was obtained from the ethical committee of Surendera Dental College and Research Institute.

Pretesting questionnaire

A self-administered structured questionnaire was developed and tested among a convenience sample of 10 dentists, who were interviewed to gain feedback on the overall acceptability of the questionnaire in terms of length and language clarity. Based on their feedback, the questionnaire did not require any corrections. Cronbach coefficient was found to be 0.80, which showed an internal reliability of the questionnaire. Mean Content Validity Ratio was calculated as 0.87 based on the opinions expressed by a panel of five academicians. The questionnaire was divided into two sections–Section A was “General section” containing sociodemographic details and professional background information of the participants. Section B comprised of 24 close-ended questions based on the awareness, applicability, objectives etc. of CPA on a 4 point-Likert scale with 1 correct answer.

Total knowledge/awareness score was calculated on the basis of each participant's response. Each positive response was scored as “1” and another response as “0.” The total score was a simple sum of responses ranging from 1 to 24. Categorization of scores was done at three levels–low (0–8), medium (9–16), and high (17–24).

Data collection

An invitation was being sent to all the dentist to attend a session on CPA, the members were provided with a pro forma consisting of certain questions regarding the topic at the time of arrival.

Once the pro forma was filled, the session was started, and the topics constituting the questionnaire were properly addressed in the session. After the completion of the session, the doctors were informed regarding the need of a study toward the topic of CPA and were asked to participate in the study voluntarily. Those who were interested in participating, consent were taken from them. Among the total 420 dentists with a response rate of 90% (378) gave their consent to participate in the study and agreed to fill the questionnaire of phase two sessions.

Then after 1 month, phase two questionnaire was sent to the dentist who had given a positive consent on their E-mail ids, and the examiners anticipated 20 days for the participants to respond back. The dentists who respond within 20 days were included for the study. Among the total number of 378 dental professionals who were sent with the pro forma of phase two 10 got to be excluded due to missing response hence making the total sample comprising of 368 dental professionals.

Statistical analysis

The data were analyzed using IBM SPSS. Statistics Windows, Version 20.0 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY, USA). The statistical significance was determined by the mean, standard deviation, and Kruskal–Wallis test to find out the statistical correlation among the dental professional before and after intervention according to their demographic characteristics.


   Results Top


Demographic data showed that the majority of the respondents were BDS (52.17%) and female (65.76%). More than half of the study population (74.73%) had <5 years of work experience. The majority (47.83%) of the dental professional had the only private type of practice [Table 1].
Table 1: Demographic characteristics of dentists of study population

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[Table 2] shows the assessment of mean knowledge score before and after intervention with demographic characteristics of dental professionals describes before intervention the mean knowledge score of MDS (9.17 ± 1.91) were more than PG (8.54 ± 1.79) and BDS (7.83 ± 1.68), but after intervention, the mean knowledge score of PG (15.28 ± 2.27) were more than the MDS (13.43 ± 1.98) and BDS (10.96 ± 1.47).
Table 2: Assessment of mean knowledge score before and after intervention with demographic characteristics of dental professionals

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On applying Kruskal–Wallis test, it was found that after intervention, there was no correlation between the knowledge of males and females with their demographic characters. It was observed that the mean score in the level of education of BDS, MDS, and PG all were statistically correlated before intervention, whereas after intervention, none of them was statistically correlated to each other. Before the intervention, those who had the academic type of practice were not statistically correlated to private as well as combined, but after intervention, none of them was correlated to each other.

[Graph 1] shows mean difference of knowledge score before and after intervention, and it was observed that gender and year of experience were highly significant (P < 0.001) in relation to interventions. When Kruskal–Wallis was applied, it was found that level of education of BDS, MDS, and PG were not statistically correlated to each other before and after the intervention. Among the type of practice, it was observed that academic and combined were statistically correlated to each other but was not related to the private type of practice.




   Discussion Top


The enactment of the CPA, 1986, is a milestone in the history of socioeconomic legislation in India. The Act has considerably consolidated the process of consumer protection and has given rise to new consumer jurisprudence during the past few years. However, awareness among dental professionals about such laws is observed to be varied. Thus, it becomes important for the dental professionals today to explain patients about their treatment needs, expenditure, risks involved, and obtain consent for all procedures.

This study is an attempt to check the difference in knowledge toward CPA among dental professionals before and after intervention in India, there has been no previous data to compare with the findings of this study as no interventional study has been conducted till date.

Before intervention postgraduate professionals were found to be more aware as compared to graduate and PG students. This is in accordance to the study done by Prasad et al.[9] in Ghaziabad, India which showed the similar results.

In the present study, before intervention knowledge level about CPA is higher among females than males. It is also observed that professionals with increased numbers of experience in dentistry are well versed of CPA. This may be because the expanding patient population is becoming knowledgeable and aware toward their rights, consequently taking action by contacting the consumer forum to lodge their complaints. Thus, dentists are also updating themselves to provide efficient dental care.[9]

This study revealed a significant difference in knowledge level among dental professionals before intervention based on the type of practice. Those attached to academics only reported with high knowledge as compared to personals in private practices. Doctors with combined attachment have slightly higher mean knowledge scores (7.96) when compared to doctors in pure private practice set up (7.08). This finding is in contrast with other study conducted by Verma et al.[10] in which those following combined type of practice had maximum knowledge.

Postgraduate doctors reported to be having maximum knowledge regarding CPA before intervention, but the results shifted toward PG student after intervention in relation to knowledge this could be because Postgraduate students are currently in the learning stage, they grasp the knowledge and readily bring it into their practice.

Dentist those having the academic type of practice are having maximum knowledge about CPA after intervention then the private type of practice this may be due to professionals, who are attached to institutes or colleges, update their knowledge regularly with the help of the internet and other media.[10]

In the present study, it is found that the mean difference in knowledge score among dental professional according to their level of education, PG shows a maximum mean difference compared to MDS and BDS professionals, but none of them is statistically correlated to each other before and after the intervention. The dentist with the academic type of practice shows the higher mean difference in knowledge score then private and combined type of practice, and it was observed that academic and combined type of practice are statistically correlated to each other but is not related to knowledge scores of professionals in private type of practice.

In the present study, the mean difference in knowledge scores are found to be more among males as compared to females; this shows a better understanding capacity of the males towards the subject among males as compared to females.

The focus of this study was toward the knowledge regarding CPA among dental professionals before and after the intervention.

The limitations of the present study could be regarding the creditability of the responses especially the one provided after intervention as due to the human tendency and urge to perform better the respondents might have provided incorrect answers. Another limitation by the authors is towards comparison of the postintervention scores with other studies; this could have not been possible due to the absence of similar data in the search engine.

There is wide variation reported in the level of existing knowledge as well as the level of knowledge gained in relation to the level of education and duration of practice. An urge towards gaining knowledge and bringing it into practice should always be ignited among people with medical profession at all levels of our profession and change our attitude by inculcating a practice to spread the message of CPA for delivering quality dental care.


   Conclusion Top


Considering the results of the present study, higher level of education, academic type of practice, and more year of experience are accountable for more knowledge of CPA among dentist. It is important to be aware of the recent findings of judgment toward this vulnerable topic as the numbers of cases toward negligence of the doctors are increasing at an alarming rate. The dental council should utilize its capacity more attentively and strictly so that it will help in designing the law and legal processes, primarily for serving the society and secondarily toward the benefit of the professionals.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
   References Top

1.
Crimmins EM, Beltrán-Sánchez H. Mortality and morbidity trends: Is there compression of morbidity? J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 2011;66:75-86.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Banerjee A, Sanyal D. Dynamics of doctor-patient relationship: A cross-sectional study on concordance, trust, and patient enablement. J Family Community Med 2012;19:12-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]    
3.
Santhosh CS, Nawaz B. Perception of ethics & Consumer Protection Act (CPA) among doctors. J Punjab Acad Forensic Med Toxicol 2013;13:25-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Scope of Consumer Protection Act in medical profession in India. J Clin Sci 2014;11:25.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Swapna LA, Koppolu P, Basil T, Koppolu D, Baroudi K. Awareness of Consumer Protection Act among the dental fraternity in India. J Orofac Sci 2016;8:27-33.  Back to cited text no. 5
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6.
Samer JJ. Ethical problems facing the industry. Hosp Health Serv Adm 1985;30:44-53.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Gupta VV, Bhat N, Asawa K, Tak M, Bapat S, Chaturvedi P, et al. Knowledge and attitude toward informed consent among private dental practitioners in Bathinda city, Punjab, India. Osong Public Health Res Perspect 2015;6:73-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Paul G. Medical Law for Dental Surgeons. 1st ed. New Delhi, India: Jaypee Brothers; 2004. p. 75-90.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Prasad S, Menon I, Dhingra C, Anand R. Awareness of consumer protection act among dental health professionals in dental schools of Ghaziabad, India. Oral Health Dent Manag 2013;12:262-8.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Verma S, Chowdary VH, Padmavathi K, Jain A, Parakh A. Awareness related to Consumer Protection Act among dental and medical professionals of Bhilai, Chhattisgarh, India. Int Res J Clin Med 2016;1:1-4.  Back to cited text no. 10
    

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Correspondence Address:
Deeksha Gijwani
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Surendera Dental College and Research Institute, H H Garden, Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jeed.jeed_4_17

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