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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 168-173

An assessment of factors motivating patients to seek orthodontic treatment in a South-Western Nigerian teaching hospital

1 Department of Child Dental Health, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria
2 Faculty of Dental Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Anne Nkechi Ndukwe
Department of Child Dental Health, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria and University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/NJM.NJM_87_21

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Background: Motivation is a concept that describes the conscious or unconscious stimuli for the action toward a desired goal. The motivations for seeking an orthodontic treatment among the population are diverse. Identifying the underlying motivation for treatment is helpful in reducing dissatisfaction with orthodontic treatment outcome. Aim: This study aimed to assess motivating factors for seeking orthodontic treatment and to compare these factors between adolescents and adults attending a Nigerian teaching hospital. Patients, Materials and Methods: Self-administered questionnaires were distributed among 130 subjects (79 adolescents and 51 adults). The subjects were asked to assign a score to the motivating factors listed based on their relative importance using a 5-point Likert scale which ranged from 1 to 5, with 5 rated as very important and 1 rated as very unimportant. The choice of motivating factors was compared between the adolescents and adults and between sexes in each group. Data obtained were analyzed using IBM Statistical Package for Social Sciences (IBM SPSS) version 21.0. P ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: Improvement in dental appearance was the main motivating factor for almost all subjects and there was no statistically significant difference between adolescents (60.8%) and adults (68.6%), P = 0.591. A significantly higher (P < 0.001) number of the adults, (35, 68.6%) chose improvement in facial aesthetics as a motivating factor for orthodontic treatment compared with 29 (44.6%) adolescents. The least motivating factors which were chosen by adolescents were improvement in chewing (9, 13.8%) and relief of temporomandibular joint symptoms (4, 6.2%). There was no statistically significant difference in the choice of motivating factors between female and male in both the adolescent and adult groups. Conclusion: Aesthetic concerns were the most important motivating factors in adolescents and adults seeking orthodontic treatment.

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