The Importance of leadership and management skills in dental practices to attract and retain patients in periods of economic recession.

Primitivo Roig, Elsbeth Kalenderian, Jaime Pinilla


Objective: To test the hypothesis that leadership and management skills protect dental practices against the effects of an economic recession.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional exploratory study. Dentists (n  =  232) were randomly selected to participate in an online survey in which they were asked about their practice activity.

Results: A total of 162 questionnaires were returned (response rate 70%). Results indicated that improved leadership and management skills are positively related to the probability that a practice remained stable or increased its productivity during the economic recession: OR = 2.39 (95% CI; 1.08-5.3).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that dental practices applying leadership and management skills are related to attract and retain patients, as measured by increased numbers of both initial consultations and continued patronage (return visits); and keep the economic crisis’ impact on revenue manageable.


Leadership; Practice Management; Economic Recession; Dentistry; Continuous Education


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Corresponding: Facultad de Odontología, Universidad de Concepción, Chile. Roosevelt 1550, Concepción, Chile. Phone +56-41-2204232 - Fax +56-41-2243311- Mailbox 160-C, Concepción, Chile. E-mail