Objective: The National Dental Practice-Based Research Network is a consortium of US dental practitioners and researchers that conducts studies in dental offices, on topics of importance to practitioners, in order to improve patient care and oral health. This presentation describes the collaborative relationships between the network and professional organizations that represent a wide range of practitioners. These collaborations are designed to foster practitioner recruitment, study development, and research dissemination.
Method: A descriptive analysis is used to describe linkages between National Dental PBRN and professional organizations. The relationships focus on three primary goals: (a) expand enrollment through organizational outreach to members; (b) identify important study topics through member outreach establishing connections to content experts; and (c) develop strategies to broaden dissemination of research results. The network collaborates with association leaders who represent general dentists, dental specialists, and dental hygienists from a diverse range of practice settings.
Result: As of October 1, 2013, over 4,550 practitioners were enrolled in the network (over 2,900 dentists, 1,220 hygienists, and 400 non-practitioners/faculty). Among dentists, over 2270 are general practitioners and about 630 are specialists, including over 130 pediatric dentists, 120 orthodontists, 120 periodontists, and 80 endodontists. Conference calls, face-to-face meetings, and cross-organizational committees, were used to identify “win-win” relationships with numerous national, state, and local dental organizations. To date, two professional organizations have surveyed members about network study ideas, each identifying three ideas with broad appeal. Study proposals are in development, as are additional member surveys. Once network studies are approved, outreach to members will be conducted to increase practitioner enrollment and involvement.
Conclusion: Engaging organizations representing dental practitioners has increased enrollment and identified study topics and research proposals. The development of joint dissemination strategies will further enhance the potential impact of National Dental PBRN research on patient care.