516 Factors influencing use of risk assessment tools in dental practices

Thursday, March 22, 2012: 3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Presentation Type: Poster Session
T. THYVALIKAKATH1, L.P. SCHULHOF2, T. SCHLEYER1, M. SONG3, G. MAUPOME4, and M.J. THOELE5, 1School of Dental Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 2Department of Public Health, Center for Dental Informatics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 3Dental Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 4Dept. of Preventive & Community Dentistry, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN, 5Center for Health Promotion, Minnesota Department of Health, St Paul, MN
Objective: Determine how a web-based risk assessment tool for periodontal disease (Previser Risk Calculator (PRC), Previser Corp., Mount Vernon, WA) is used by dental care providers in practice and their perceived benefits and drawbacks when using it.

Method: Semi-structured telephone interviews with dentists and hygienists who use PRC in their practices. Interview questions were geared towards obtaining a clear understanding of how the PRC is used in practice and what factors facilitate or inhibit its routine use. All interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed and the transcripts were analyzed by thematic analysis.

Result: Seventeen out of the 40 dental practices that use PRC (response rate: 42.5%) participated in the study. Seven practices were using PRC for less than a year, one for more than a year and nine practices were using PRC for more than two years. Primarily, dental hygienists used the tool and they used it at chairside during patient care. They believed that the tool results educated patients on their future risk for periodontal disease and provided an objective assessment of the patient’s risk for periodontal disease. The tool also enabled dentists and hygienists to be "on the same page" regarding the patient's oral status, risk and treatment. Most participants reported the tool cumbersome and time-consuming to use. They suggested integrating computer-based tools with electronic patient records (EPR) to avoid double data entry and enable voice recognition to support seamless data entry.

Conclusion: This study offered insight into how dentists and hygienists used web-based risk assessment tools in practice and the barriers and facilitators to using it during patient care. In summary, dental care providers believed the tool is an effective patient educational tool for periodontal disease risk factors. They also expressed potential improvements such as considering relevant health history information and integrating with EPR to avoid redundant data.

This abstract is based on research that was funded entirely or partially by an outside source: NIDCR 5K08DE018957-03

Keywords: Acceptance, Behavioral science, Decision-making, Diabetes and Periodontal disease