Clinical Guidelines and Implementation into Daily Dental Practice
Keywords:Evidence-Based Dentistry, Practice Patterns, Dentists, Surveys and Questionnaires
Introduction: The purpose of this study is to assess the extent of the familiarity, attitude and perceptions of dental professionals regarding clinical dental guidelines and their implementation into daily dental practice.
Material and Methods: For this purpose, a questionnaire which was developed by the members of the World Dental Federation, European Regional Organization Working Group − ‘Relation Between Dental Practitioner and Universities’, was implemented by the National Dental Associations of six European Regional Organization-zone countries (Georgian Stomatological Association - Georgia, Associazione Nazionale Dentisti Italiani - Italy, Portuguese Dental Association - Portugal, Russian Dental Association - Russia, Swiss Dental Association - Switzerland, and Turkish Dental Association - Turkey. The questionnaire was filled by a total of 910 dental professionals who are members of one of these national dental associations and who voluntarily wanted to participate to this survey.
Results: Most of the survey participants were familiar with clinical dental guidelines (68%), claimed that they implemented them into daily practice (61.7%), and generally acknowledged their benefits (81.8%). Many participants believed that clinical dental guidelines could help to improve the clinical treatment plan (50.6 %) and the accuracy of diagnosis (39.4%); which increased with age and years of practice (p < 0.05). The most frequently perceived barrier to the effective implementation of clinical dental guidelines was expressed as ‘lack of awareness’, while participants suggested a role for national dental associations in spreading clinical dental guidelines.
Discussion: A better understanding of the perceptions and attitudes of dentists towards clinical dental guidelines and the potential impact of factors affecting such perceptions and attitudes may be of particular importance for attempts aiming at overcoming the barriers for effective implementation of clinical dental guidelines into daily practice.
Conclusion: Despite a significant familiarity and a common positive attitude, dental professionals are likely to have different perceptions towards clinical dental guidelines, especially regarding their effective implementation into daily practice, benefits and barriers.
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