Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Call Number for Print
Special Collections LD4331.D46 V47 2015
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine if visible tattoos affected the perceptions of dental consumers toward the professionalism and credibility of dental hygienists.
Methods: An 11 item, IRB approved investigator designed survey was administered online to 203 subjects invited to participate via a commercial web source. Surveys were randomized according to respondents' birth month. Participants viewed one of three photographs of a dental hygiene model wearing short-sleeved scrubs without a tattoo, with a large sleeve tattoo on the arm or with a small tattoo on the wrist. Participants scored each photograph on a 5-point Likert scale based on the following attributes: ethical, responsible, hygienic, competent, and professional. Participants self-reported on the number of tattoos they had and their attitude toward visible tattoos in the workplace.
Results: Twenty three percent of respondents had a tattoo with 66% reporting their tattoo was not visible while wearing short-sleeves. Most respondents (88%) that viewed the model without a tattoo rated them as being professional although only 49% rated the same model but with a sleeve tattoo as professional. Overall attribute mean scores were averaged and referred to as credibility. Results reveal ratings of credibility on a model with a sleeve tattoo were significantly more negative (F=l5.16,p=.000) than were ratings of the same model shown without a tattoo or a small wrist tattoo. Respondents also rated the model with the sleeve tattoo lowest in regards to using a dental office on a regular basis (F=l5.041,p=.OOO) and whether they were likely to refer others to an office based on the model viewed (F = 10.595, p=.000). Data analysis revealed personal tattoo status had minimal influence on results when evaluating credibility.
Conclusions: Results indicate the presence of a large sleeve visible tattoo leads to less positive judgments about the credibility and professionalism of the dental hygienist compared to a model without a visible tattoo. Therefore, having a visible tattoo may hinder patient's positive perceptions of the dental hygienist and puts them at risk for being negatively perceived by patients in the dental practice setting.
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Verissimo, Amanda B..
"Dental Consumers' Perceptions of Dental Hygienists with Visible Tattoos"
(2015). Master of Science (MS), Thesis, Dental Hygiene, Old Dominion University, DOI: 10.25777/xgkt-8783