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Use of Q methodology to assess the concerns of adult female individuals seeking orthodontic treatment

Authors Yao L, Xu X, Ni Z, Zheng M, Lin F

Received 10 September 2014

Accepted for publication 12 November 2014

Published 8 January 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 47—55

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S74104

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen


Linjie Yao,1 Xingqiao Xu,2 Zhenyu Ni,3 Minling Zheng,3 Feiou Lin3

1Department of Pedodontics, 2Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 3Department of Orthodontics, School and Hospital of Stomatology, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, People’s Republic of China


Background: Orthodontic treatment may cause functional restrictions, discomfort, and pain, which may lead to dental anxiety and noncooperation among patients. This study aimed to assess the concerns of adult female patients with respect to such treatment.
Patients and methods: We conducted an explorative study using Q methodology among 40 adult female patients with different educational and social backgrounds in Wenzhou, People’s Republic of China. We asked participants to rank a set of 41 statements about seeking orthodontic treatment on an 11-point scale from “agree most” to “disagree most”. The collected data were analyzed using the PQ Method 2.35 program. We extracted significant viewpoints using centroid factor extraction and varimax rotation.
Results: We identified major factors based on how the patients ranked statements. Patients in group 1 worried about lack of information about orthodontic treatment, and may have suffered from dental phobia; patients in group 2 were all single women, and they were worried that the braces might lower their chances of finding a partner; patients in group 3 worried about appearance and speech with braces; and patients in group 4 worried about cost, pain, and dental hygiene. The remaining participants who had other viewpoints did not load to any of these four groups.
Conclusion: The concerns of adult female individuals seeking orthodontic treatment are complex. A significant feature of this study was using Q methodology to analyze the psychological characteristics of the patients. This study identified four typical characterizations that are associated with each group, and our findings may aid orthodontists in improving doctor–patient relationships.

Keywords: orthodontic treatment, Q methodology, adult female patient

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