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Getting evidence into practice: an investigation of the use and understanding of evidence-based practice by general dental practitioners in the West Midlands

Saha, Shuva (2010)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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OBJECTIVES: To determine what factors cause dental practitioners to change their practice To investigate the barriers to the successful application of research evidence to dental health care. To make recommendations for future action in light of the results of this study. DESIGN: Qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews. In-depth interviews using a topic guide were utilised to identify current levels of knowledge and use of evidence-based dental practice amongst dental practitioners. SUBJECTS: A purposive sample of 31 primary dental care practitioners in the West Midlands. RESULTS: Advice from colleagues and respected teachers (“trusted sources”) were drivers for changing practice along with clinical guidelines from respected sources. It was clear that understanding of concepts in evidence-based dentistry (EBD) was limited. There appears to be a need to improve accessibility of evidence and to provide this in a format that practitioners find easily digestible. Common barriers to application of EBD included self-confidence in dentists own skills, NHS legislation and policy, organisational constraints and a lack of knowledge of critical appraisal CONCLUSIONS: Responses highlight a relative gap between the evangelism of evidence-based dentistry and its impact at a grass-roots level. It appears necessary to change the format and availability of evidence if dental practitioners are to maintain contemporary practice with evidence based interventions. The current climate in primary dental care does not appear to favour an evidence-based approach to determining patients’ dental care.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Walmsley, Damien and White, Deborah
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Medical & Dental Sciences
Department:School of Dentistry
Subjects:RK Dentistry
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:712
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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