Background/purpose: Many factors, including economic, psychosocial statuses and ethnicity, affect patients' decision to seek orthodontic treatment. The present study compared orthodontic patients' motivation, attitude and the factors affecting this motivation in Taiwanese and Thai patients. We investigated the association between the aforementioned variables and patient characteristics. Materials and methods: We enrolled 250 Thai and 250 Taiwanese patients (age ≥ 20 years) from Sunprasitthiprasong and Taipei Medical University Hospitals, respectively, by using self-administered questionnaires. Demographic characteristics were analyzed using Pearson's chi-square test, patients' motivation, attitude and the factors affecting this motivation were analyzed using the sample t-test. The association among the variables was investigated by multiple regression analysis. Results: In both hospitals, the main motivation for seeking orthodontic treatment was esthetic concerns; the patients believed that treatment could make them more beautiful. Taiwanese and Thai patients rejected treatment because of high treatment costs and long treatment periods, respectively. A significant association was observed between household income and Thai patients' motivation (p < 0.05). Sex was significantly associated with Thai patients' attitude (p < 0.05). Age, sex, active treatment duration, and marital status were associated with Taiwanese attitude toward treatment (p < 0.05). In addition, age, household income, and information resources were significantly associated with the factors affecting Taiwanese patients' motivation (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Ethnicity influenced patients' motivation. Economic status was the main factor affecting Thai patients, whereas many factors affected Taiwanese patients' decision to seek orthodontic treatment. However, esthetic concerns were a crucial motivation for both groups.
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