Objectives: We previously demonstrated the utility of chairside screening by dentists as a strategy to identify patients at increased risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) and diabetes mellitus (DM) and reported on practitioner and patient acceptance and willingness to participate in this strategy. Focused education sessions were conducted at the 2009 and 2010 annual meetings of the American Dental Association to train dentists on chairside screening for CHD and DM risk and to assess the impact of training.
Methods: A 2-hour didactic and hands-on workshop was conducted that covered disease epidemiology, prevention and screening, and how to conduct and interpret the screening tests according to documented guidelines. Participants also performed the screening tests on a partner. A pre/post-session self-administered Likert type survey was used to assess the impact of training on participants' disease-specific knowledge and attitudes, perceived barriers and knowledge about screening. Multinomial logistic regression was used to assess the pre-post response difference. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) are presented. The reported OR represents the odds of a more positive response post training.
Results: The 82 participants were 95% dentists, 5% hygienists, 66% males, 79% whites, 83% >40 years old, and 79% practicing >10 years. The training significantly increased perceived importance of identifying patients who may benefit from interventions to prevent or control disease onset (OR=2.39; CI=1.07-5.33); willingness to conduct screening and address results (OR=1.75; CI=1. 21-3.55); and willingness to gather needed samples/data (OR=1.58; CI=1.05-2.38). There was a significant increase in knowledge of when to make referrals (OR=3.86; CI=2.96-5.04) and knowledge of specific risk factors (OR=3.49; CI=2.64-4.95). There was no significant change in perceived importance of barriers including patient willingness, time and insurance coverage.
Conclusions: Focused training can positively impact attitudes and knowledge and help guide implementation of chairside medical screening in a dental setting.
Keywords: Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes and Epidemiology
See more of: Behavioral, Epidemiologic, and Health Services Research