Operations and characteristics of The National Dental Practice-Based Research Network [presentation] Presentation uri icon


  • Objectives: Describe operations and characteristics of the new National Dental Practice-Based Research Network. Following a successful 2005-2012 phase with three regional networks, a single, unified national network was created for the United States in April 2012. This “nation’s network” aims to improve oral health by expanding the knowledge base for clinical decision-making and moving the latest evidence into routine care. Methods: Central administration is based in Birmingham, Alabama. Six regional centers are based in Alabama, Florida, Minnesota, Oregon, New York and Texas. The Coordinating Center is based in Rockville, Maryland. Ideas for studies are discussed and prioritized by the Executive Committee, comprised mostly of full-time clinicians. Practitioners enroll by visiting http://NationalDentalPBRN.org and completing an online Enrollment Questionnaire. Results: As of September-30-2012, a total of 1,280 practitioners enrolled, from all six network regions. Among their characteristics: 41% are female; 28% are <40 years old, 16% are >60 years old; 6% are Hispanic/Latino; 83% are White/Caucasian; 80% practice in one location only; 66% own their practice; 13% practice in an urban inner city area, 30% in urban non-inner city, 43% suburban, 13% in a rural area; 80% practice full-time; 82% are general practitioners; 57% use electronic dental records; 56% are new to practice-based research. Their patient characteristics include: 22% are <19 years old, 66% are White/Caucasian, and 62% are covered by a private insurance program. Practitioners participate at every step of the process, including idea generation (56% suggested ideas during enrollment), study development, field testing, data collection, and presentation/publication. Network studies will cover a broad range of topics of interest to full-time clinicians interested in improving care and health of their patients. Conclusions: Enrollment continues to expand and includes broad national representation of practitioners. Study ideas are being generated, reviewed and prioritized; study development and implementation are underway.