September 2018

Volume 35, Issue 3

Patients’ willingness to pay for dental services in a population with limited restorative services

Authors: Kasusu K. Nyamuryekung’e Satu M. Lahti Risto J. Tuominen
doi: 10.1922/CDH_4227Nyamuryekunge06

Abstract

Objectives: To determine and compare patients’ willingness-to-pay (WTP) for tooth extraction and filling services in Tanzania and to assess the socio-demographic factors that are associated with such valuations. Methods: Contingent valuation survey utilizing an open-ended willingness-to-pay format was administered among 1522 outpatients in four regional hospitals in Tanzania. WTP for extraction and tooth filling services for various tooth categories were determined and compared using Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests. The association of WTP values with socio-demographic background factors was assessed using multiple regression analysis. Results: The mean WTP amounts for tooth filling were Tanzania shillings (Tshs) 7,398 (3.4 US$) and Tshs 7,726 (3.5 US$) for anterior and posterior teeth respectively. The mean WTP for tooth filling services was lower than the average charged fees in dental facilities. The mean WTP amounts for tooth extraction were Tshs 5,448 (2.5 US$) and Tshs 6,188 (2.8 US$) for anterior and posterior teeth respectively. WTP amounts were shown to vary by age, income, outpatient status and previous experience with the dental services. Belonging in youngest age group (18-24 years) and having a high-income level was associated with increased odds for high WTP valuations irrespective of tooth and treatment types. Conclusions: WTP reveals a preference for tooth filling rather than extraction services in this population. More studies are needed to address the discrepancy between the stated preferences and utilization patterns for dental services. Key words: dental services, utilization, health economics, willingness-to-pay, low-mid income countries, United Republic of Tanzania

£10 single article

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