Happiness among dentists: a multi-scale, multi-national study from 21 countries
Objectives: The extent to which dentists are happy with their profession and their life has not been well studied. The present study aimed to explore the level of happiness, satisfaction with life and psychological well-being among a sample of dental professionals from 21 countries. Materials and Methods: The sample comprised 2,200 dentists from 21 countries. Three scales – Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS), Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS), and Affect Balance Scale (ABS) – were used to measure the subjective responses. Data related to demographic and social characteristics were recorded. Mann–Whitney and Kruskal–Wallis tests were used as appropriate. Scales were correlated, and multiple linear regression analyses were employed to identify the independent determinants of SHS, SWLS and ABS. Data were analysed using the SPSS software program; a value of P <0.05 was considered significant. Results: The overall mean scores of SHS, SWLS and ABS were 18.53 5.06, 23.06 6.25 and 1.26 2.40, respectively, with significant differences found across countries: dentists working in Croatia, Peru and Serbia recorded the highest scores, unlike dentists practicing in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq, who recorded the lowest scores. There were significant, moderately positive correlations between the various scales: SHS and SWLS: r = 0.535, P < 0.001; SHS and ABS: r = 0.58, P < 0.001; and SWLS and ABS: r = 0.533, P < 0.001. Country of practice, age, qualification and monthly income were the significant independent predictors of SHS, SWLS and ABS. Conclusion: Country of residence and social characteristics were associated with dentists’ responses regarding their feelings and subjective well-being.