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Open Access Research article

Types of psychosocial job demands and adverse events due to dental mismanagement: a cross sectional study

Akizumi Tsutsumi1*, Katsura Umehara2, Hiroshi Ono3 and Norito Kawakami4

Author Affiliations

1 University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Occupational Health Training Center, 1-1 Iseigaoka, Yahatanishi-ku, Kitakyushu 807-8555, Japan

2 Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hygiene & Preventive Medicine, 5-1 Shikata-cho,2-chome, Okayama 700-8558, Japan

3 Ono Dental Clinic, 1018-15 Niina, Takase-machi, Mitoyo-shi, Kagawa 767-0002, Japan

4 Department of Mental Health, Department of Psychiatric Nursing, Tokyo University Graduate School of Medicine, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan

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BMC Oral Health 2007, 7:3  doi:10.1186/1472-6831-7-3

Published: 4 April 2007



A harsh work environment including psychosocial job demands might cause adverse events due to medical mismanagement, but the association has not been explored. The purpose of the study was to investigate whether some types of psychosocial job demands are associated with adverse events due to dental mismanagement experienced by general dental practitioners.


A self-administered questionnaire was mailed to members of a local branch of the Japan dental association. A total of 261 dental practitioners responded anonymously (response rate 53%). Psychosocial job demands were measured by a Japanese version of the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire, which comprises five sub-scales: quantitative demands, cognitive demands, emotional demands, demands for hiding emotions, and sensorial demands. The outcome was defined according to whether the respondent's patients experienced one of the following adverse events due to dental mismanagement at least once during the previous one year: dropping of dental instrument or broken injection needle, soft tissue or nerve injury, accidental bleeding, loss of a tooth root into the maxillary sinus, and emphysema. Associations between each demand index and experience of adverse events were examined by logistic regression analyses adjusting for potential confounders.


Emotional demands and sensorial demands were significantly associated with the experience of adverse events (odds ratio = 3.9 for each). Other than the indices, male gender, younger age, practice alone, many dental chairs (five or more), and many patients (30 or more per day) were the risks. Working hours per week and number of paramedical staff had no significant associations.


Emotional and sensorial job demands are a potential target for the reduction of adverse events due to dental mismanagement.