Dentists reported a medium-range concordance between practice and evidence.
Analyses were limited to participants in the United States (N = 591). Mean concordance at the practitioner level was 62% (SD = 18); procedure-specific concordance ranged from 8-100%. Affiliation with a large group practice, being a female practitioner, and receiving a dental degree before 1990 were independently associated with high concordance (=75%).
Documenting the gap between what is occurring in clinical practice and what published research suggests would be most appropriate is an important step toward improving care. This study quantified concordance between clinical practice and published evidence across preventive, diagnostic and treatment procedures among a sample of dentists in the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network.
Efforts to bring research findings into routine practice are needed.
Network dentists completed one questionnaire about their demographic characteristics and another about how they treat patients across 12 scenarios/clinical practice behaviors. Responses to each clinical practice were coded as consistent (i.e., `1') or inconsistent (i.e., `0') with published evidence, summed, and divided by the number of all non-missing to create an overall `concordance' score, calculated as the mean percent of responses that were consistent with published evidence.