Assessing the quality of dental services using SERVQUAL model

Nooredin Dopeykar, Mohammadkarim Bahadori, Parisa Mehdizadeh, Ramin Ravangard, Mahmood Salesi, Seyed Mojtaba Hosseini


Background: The measurement of service quality had an important role in managing service
provided, diagnosing the problem, and assessing service performance. Patient satisfaction is one of
the key indicators of quality in health‑care organizations. This study aimed to measure the service
quality gap of patients’ perceptions and expectations in five dimensions at a military Specialized
Dental Clinic in Iran using SERVQUAL tool.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross‑sectional and descriptive‑analytical study conducted
at a Specialized Dental Clinic affiliated to the Armed Forces of Islamic Republic of Iran in Tehran
in 2013. All 385 patients referring to the studied clinic during two working shifts of morning and
evening in one month, August, were selected. The required data were collected using the modified
SERVQUAL questionnaire. The collected data were analyzed using SPSS 20.0 through statistical tests
including Mann–Whitney and Kruskal–Wallis tests. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: The results showed that the quality of services provided to patients was significantly
lower than their expectations and the quality gaps were statistically significant in all studied
dimensions (P < 0.001). Furthermore, the highest and lowest quality gap was related to
empathy (−1.16) and reliability (−0.61), respectively.
Conclusion: According to the results, the managers of this clinic should take steps toward improving
the quality of services in all dimensions, especially responsiveness and empathy, through planning
properly, prioritizing services, and reviewing processes with regard to the patients’ expectations.
Key Words: Dental services, expectation, patient, perception

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