The General Dental Council (GDC) has appointed Enventure Research to deliver a programme of research targeting patients and dental professionals to explore how patients’ awareness of the standards it sets for dental professionals can be raised. These standards issue guidance on conduct, performance and practice to registered dentists and other dental care professionals (DCPs). Previous research has indicated that awareness of the standards amongst patients and the public is very low. The GDC recognises that patient understanding of the existence of these standards and what they involve is important for ensuring that high quality dental treatment is provided, as this will increase awareness of what patients can expect from their dental professionals.
Enventure Research has previously undertaken various pieces of research on behalf of the GDC with both patients / the public and GDC registrants, much of which has focused on awareness and understanding of the GDC’s standards for dental professionals. The current research will explore what information patients want and need to know about treatment, find out how patients would like to receive information about dental standards and understand what information GDC registrants think patients need to know about their treatment.
A mixed quantitative and qualitative approach will be taken to the research. The research programme will include two online surveys (one targeted at patients and the public and one targeted at GDC registrants) and two sets of focus groups (four groups with patients and the public and four groups with GDC registrants) following the online surveys to gather more in-depth information about participants’ attitudes, behaviours and experiences.