The perception of surrogate teaching patients with HIV disease of dental providers' fear and comfort.

D. L. Brimlow, M. W. Ross, K. V. Rankin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We conducted a focus group with eight surrogate teaching patients who participate in an HIV/AIDS training program for dentists and auxiliaries. With one exception, these surrogate patients were HIV-seropositive, had taken part in eight training sessions over six months, and had been examined by about forty groups of trainees. Researchers inquired about how surrogate patients could tell if the trainees were afraid or comfortable, what negative experiences with trainees occurred or stood out, and what positive experiences were recalled or stood out. Theme analysis was used to interpret the results of the focus group. The main signifiers of clinician discomfort were related to physical distance, avoidance of physical contact, verbal interaction, and what we call "dentist interaction." The results suggest that training of dentists and other dental personnel to interact with patients with HIV/AIDS should attend to reduction of patients' psychological distress as well as management of any physical discomfort. The feedback from surrogate patients with HIV disease who have experienced a large number of dental examinations is a valuable tool for providing feedback to, and insight into, the factors that cause psychological discomfort to patients with HIV disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-602
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2000


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