Factors that drive dentists towards or away from dental caries preventive measures: systematic review and metasummary.
BACKGROUND: Dental caries is a serious public health concern. The high cost of dental treatment can be avoided by effective preventive measures, which are dependent on dentists' adherence. This study aimed to evaluate the factors that drive dentists towards or away from dental caries preventive measures. METHODS AND FINDINGS: This systematic review was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42012002235). Several databases as well as the reference lists and citations of the included publications were searched according to PRISMA guidelines, yielding 18,276 titles and abstracts, which were assessed to determine study eligibility. Seven qualitative studies and 41 surveys (36,501 participants) remained after data extraction and interpretation. A total of 43 findings were abstracted from the reports and were grouped together into 6 categories that were judged to be topically similar: education and training, personal beliefs, work conditions, remuneration, gender, place of residence and patients. The main findings for adherence based on their calculated frequency effect sizes (ES) were teamwork (21%) and post-graduation (12%), while for non-adherence were biologicism (27%), and remuneration for preventive procedures (25%). Intensity ES were also calculated and demonstrated low prevalence of the findings. Quality assessment of the studies demonstrated that the methodological quality, particularly of surveys, varied widely among studies. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the questionable quality of the included reports, the evidence that emerged seems to indicate that further education and training coupled with a fairer pay scheme would be a reasonable approach to change the balance in favor of the provision of dental caries preventive measures by dentists. The results of this review could be of value in the planning and decision making processes aimed at encouraging changes in professional dental practice that could result in the improvement of the oral health care provided to the population in general.
Suga, USG; Terada, RSS; Ubaldini, ALM; Fujimaki, M; Pascotto, RC; Batilana, AP; Pietrobon, R; Vissoci, JRN; Rodrigues, CG
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