Information-seeking behaviors of dental practitioners in three practice-based research networks
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Research on the information-seeking behaviors of dental practitioners is scarce. Knowledge of dentists' information seeking behaviors should advance the translational gap between clinical dental research and dental practice. A cross-sectional survey was conducted to examine the self-reported information-seeking behaviors of dentists in three dental practice-based research networks (PBRNs). A total of 950 dentists (65 percent response rate) completed the survey. Dental journals and continuing dental education (CDE) sources used and their influence on practice guidance were assessed. PBRN participation level and years since dental degree were measured. Full-participant dentists reported reading the Journal of the American Dental Association and General Dentistry more frequently than did their reference counterparts. Printed journals were preferred by most dentists. A lower proportion of full participants obtained their CDE credits at dental meetings compared to partial participants. Experienced dentists read other dental information sources more frequently than did less experienced dentists. Practitioners involved in a PBRN differed in their approaches to accessing information sources. Peer-reviewed sources were more frequently used by full participants and dentists with fifteen years of experience or more. Dental PBRNs potentially play a significant role in the dissemination of evidence-based information. This study found that specific educational sources might increase and disseminate knowledge among dentists.