Melbourne Dental School - Research Publications

Permanent URI for this collection

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 16
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Preparedness for practice of newly qualified dental practitioners in the Australian context: an exploratory study
    Marino, R ; Delany, C ; Manton, DJ ; Reid, K ; Satur, J ; Crombie, F ; Wong, R ; McNally, C ; Adams, GG ; Lopez, D ; Celentano, A ; Lim, M ; Morgan, M (BMC, 2022-08-18)
    BACKGROUND: The current study explored the perspectives of preparedness for dental practice from a range of relevant stakeholders (i.e., educators, employers, final-year students, graduates, practitioners, and professional associations) using an anonymous online survey in which participants described either their preparedness for practice, or the preparedness of graduates they have encountered, across six domains. RESULTS: A total of 120 participants completed the survey. Participants were from several Australian states and territories; regional, rural, and urban locations; and working in the public and private sector. Students and new graduates generally felt prepared for activities in all the identified domains. Stakeholders reported consistently that the knowledge of dental profession graduates was at the required level to enter practice in Australia in a safe way. Activities involving the knowledge of clinical entrepreneurship and financial solvency were the dimensions where students and graduates felt least prepared (e.g., explaining fees, negotiating finances). In the domains involving clinical and technical competencies, students and new graduates self-assessed as less prepared around managing dental trauma and medical emergencies. On the other hand, activities around social and community orientation, and to a lesser extent professional attitudes and ethical judgements, were the dimensions where students and graduates felt the most prepared. CONCLUSIONS: Present findings indicate that there appear to be good standards of preparedness for practice for graduate dental professionals. This exploratory study provides insights into the nature of preparedness for Australian dental professionals and provides a basis for targeting education and professional development to address areas of need.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    The Indigenous Adolescent Oral Health Partnership Study: A Co-Design Study Protocol.
    Calvin, Z ; Skinner, J ; Dimitropoulos, Y ; Stan, G ; Satur, J ; Cartwright, S ; Widmer, RP ; Schafer, T ; Williams, R ; Sohn, W ; Raphael, S ; Christian, B ; Parter, C ; Blatchford, L ; Rambaldini, B ; Partridge, SR ; Cain, E ; Gwynne, K (MDPI AG, 2022-07-26)
    BACKGROUND: in this protocol we outline a method of working alongside Aboriginal communities to learn about and facilitate improvement in the oral health habits in Aboriginal adolescents. By facilitating positive oral health in Aboriginal adolescents, we hope to achieve lifelong improvement in oral health and general wellbeing. METHODS: this paper outlines a co-design methodology through which researchers and Aboriginal communities will work together to create a custom oral healthcare program aimed at Aboriginal adolescents. Researchers, a youth advisory group, Aboriginal community-controlled health services and three regional NSW communities will together devise an oral health strategy focused on five components: application of topical fluoride, increasing water consumption, improving nutrition, daily toothbrushing, and enhancing social and emotional wellbeing. Capacity building is a key outcome of this program. DISCUSSION: as the gap in health status between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people remains wide, it is clear that new approaches and attitudes are needed in Aboriginal public health research. This protocol is representative of this shifting approach; giving power to Aboriginal communities who seek to have sovereignty and self-determination over their healthcare. TRIAL REGISTRATION: TRN: ISRCTN15496753 Date of registration: 20 October 2021.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Preparedness for practice of newly qualified dental professionals in Australia-educator, employer, and consumer perspectives
    Marino, R ; Delany, C ; Manton, D ; Reid, K ; Satur, J ; Crombie, F ; Wong, R ; McNally, C ; Lopez, D ; Celentano, A ; Lim, M ; Morgan, M (BMC, 2022-05-23)
    BACKGROUND: Limited data regarding the perspectives of other observers (i.e. those who educate, employ or receive care from) of new graduates' preparedness to practice is available. The present study aimed to explore perceptions of different observers regarding the preparedness to practice and work readiness of newly qualified dental professionals. This broader range of perspectives is crucial to inform the development of educational programs, including continuing professional development, for newly qualified dental professionals, by clarifying the skills, knowledge and behaviours expected by the dental profession and wider public. RESULTS: Nineteen individual qualitative interviews were undertaken. Interview participants included clinical demonstrators (n = 9; 2 Oral Health Therapists; 5 Dentists; and 2 Prosthetists), dental course convenors (n = 4), representatives of large employers (n = 2), and consumers (n = 4). According to this diverse group of respondents, dental students receive adequate theoretical and evidence-based information in their formal learning and teaching activities, which prepares them for practice as dental professionals. There were no specific clinical areas or procedures where preparedness was highlighted as a major concern. Notwithstanding this, specific graduate skills which would benefit from further training and consolidation were identified, including areas where higher levels of experience would be beneficial. Nonetheless, respondents indicated that new graduates were aware of their limitations and had developed self-discipline and ethics that would allow them to identify conditions/situations where they would not have the experience or expertise to provide care safely. CONCLUSIONS: From an observer perspective, dental students appeared to have gained adequate theoretical and evidence-based information in their formal learning and teaching activities to prepared them to commence practicing safely as dental professionals. Areas were identified in which new graduates were underprepared and when transitional support may be required.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Practice characteristics and service provision rates of dental hygienists in Australia
    Amarasena, N ; Teusner, DN ; Brennan, DS ; Satur, J (WILEY, 2018-02-01)
    INTRODUCTION: Dental hygienists (DHs) have been practising in Australia since the early 1970s. OBJECTIVE: This study describes the clinical activity of Australian DHs. METHODS: A questionnaire was mailed to members of two professional associations representing DHs. Practitioner characteristics, employment characteristics and clinical activity on a self-reported typical practice day were collected. The proportion of each service item of all services provided was estimated. Associations between practice characteristics and service provision were assessed by log-binomial regression models. RESULTS: Adjusted response rate was 60.6%. Of the DHs included in analysis (n=341), 80% were employed in general practice, and nearly all (96%) worked in the private sector. About half (53.7%) of all service provided were preventive services, and one-fourth (23.9%) were diagnostic. Service provision varied by practice and practitioner characteristics, with the largest variations observed by practice type. Unadjusted analysis showed that general practice DHs provided a higher mean number of periodontal instrumentation and coronal polishing (0.92 vs 0.26), fluoride applications (0.64 vs 0.08), oral examinations (0.51 vs 0.22) and intraoral radiographs (0.33 vs 0.07) per patient visit and a lower mean number of impressions (0.05 vs 0.17) and orthodontic services (0.02 vs 0.59) than specialist practice DHs. In adjusted analysis, rates of periodontal services also significantly varied by practice type; other associations persisted. CONCLUSION: Service provision of DHs varied by practice type. Practice activity was dominated by provision of preventive services while provision of periodontal treatments, fissure sealants and oral examinations was relatively limited indicating areas in which DHs are possibly underutilized.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Perceptions of oral health by those living with mental illnesses in the Victorian Community - The consumer's perspective
    Ho, HD ; Satur, J ; Meldrum, R (WILEY, 2018-05-01)
    OBJECTIVE: To understand the way people living with mental illness in an Australian community experience and define oral health. STUDY POPULATION: People living with serious mental illness in the Victorian Community. METHODS: Qualitative methodologies were used in this study. Two focus groups and four semi-structured interviews were conducted. The data were transcribed and thematically analysed. RESULTS: Participants generally valued oral health and recognized that attending regular dental appointments played a key role in improving their oral health. Participants felt that their mental illness overwhelmed their ability to maintain good oral health. Coping, dental fear, stigma, financial barriers and communication were identified as issues around utilization and access to care. DISCUSSION: Experiences of oral health were both positive and negative. Barriers and enablers, extending beyond participant oral health literacy for oral health, were identified from the data, and recommendations around personal, environmental and clinical supports were made. CONCLUSION: This is a valuable study that provides new insight into a complicated issue. Recommendations to create a supportive dental environment and direction to improve the dental experience have been made to make oral health more accessible for people living with mental illness. Recommendations have also been made for community-based mental health organizations to aid the improvements in oral health with this group of people, thus building a collaborative approach to support oral health for this vulnerable group.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Applied scope of practice of oral health therapists, dental hygienists and dental therapists
    Teusner, DN ; Amarasena, N ; Satur, J ; Chrisopoulos, S ; Brennan, DS (WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2016-09-01)
    BACKGROUND: Oral health therapists (OHTs) are an emerging workforce whose training incorporates the skills of dental hygienists (DHs) and dental therapists (DTs). There are concerns that OHTs are underutilized. This study compares the employment characteristics and applied practice scope of OHTs with those of DTs and DHs. METHODS: Members of two professional associations representing DHs, DTs and OHTs, were surveyed by mail. Data collected included demographic and employment characteristics and clinical activity on a typical practice day. Applied practice scope was described by calculating the proportion of practitioners that had provided ≥1 of a selected range of key services. Log binomial regression was used to compare OHTs to DTs and DHs. RESULTS: The response rate was 60.6% (n = 1083) and of these 90.9% were employed. Preventive services dominated service provision. The proportion of OHTs that provided fluoride applications (77%) was higher than the proportion of DTs (53%, p < 0.05), and was not significantly different from the proportion of DHs (70%). The proportion of OHTs that provided (48%) fissure sealants was lower than the proportion of DTs (70%) and substantially higher than the proportion of DHs (10%, p > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the applied practice scope of OHTs appeared to differ from DTs and DHs.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Fidelity of motivational interviewing with families in high-caries-risk children
    Leske, AM ; Mustchin, C ; Bhujel, N ; Rajan, S ; Satur, J (WILEY, 2020-12-20)
    OBJECTIVES: Motivational interviewing (MI) is a promising behavioural intervention for prevention of dental caries in children. Few studies have reported on fidelity of MI delivered in dental settings. The aim of this paper is to explore the fidelity of implementing MI in a clinical dental practice setting, as part of an intervention study investigating caries-preventive effects of MI delivered to high-caries-risk children and their primary caregivers. METHODS: Three oral health therapy clinicians trained in MI (counsellors) provided MI to high-caries-risk children and their primary caregivers. All MI sessions (n = 34) were audio-recorded and analysed using the MI Treatment Integrity code 4.2.1. Qualitative analysis of counsellor self-reflections identified barriers to MI delivery. RESULTS: All counsellors were found to adhere to the MI process and demonstrated fair to good MI proficiency for global scores, with a mean (95% CI) of 3.3 (3.1-3.4) recorded for technical scores and 3.6 (3.5-3.8) for relational scores. The mean (95% CI) per cent complex reflections was 23% (19.4-27.1) and the mean reflection:question ratio was 0.7 (0.6-0.9). No significant differences were observed between counsellors for MI proficiency. Cultural barriers, environmental distractions, participant dental anxiety and counsellor tendency towards prescriptive advice-giving were identified by counsellors as hindrances to effective MI. CONCLUSIONS: Motivational interviewing is a skill which requires multifaceted training, practice and mentoring to meet accepted proficiency thresholds. Monitoring of MI using a validated tool is essential to ensure delivery as intended and accurately attribute outcomes to the intervention. Dental organizations intending to implement MI for caries prevention should be aware of the demands on time and resources required to deliver proficient MI and monitor fidelity.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Cultural competence of Australian dental students
    Marino, R ; Satur, J ; Tuncer, E ; Tran, M ; Milford, E ; Vivien, MTHT ; Phuong, QT ; Tsai, RP-H (BMC, 2021-03-12)
    BACKGROUND: Australia possesses a highly multicultural demographic, and thus dental practitioners are likely to regularly encounter culturally and linguistically diverse individuals. It is important for dental practitioners to be culturally competent, however, cultural competency education is highly variable in the curricula of dentistry and oral health courses in Australia, and research is largely limited to dentistry students. This study aims to investigate and compare perceived attitudes, beliefs and practices of cultural competence amongst first and final year Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) and Bachelor of Oral Health (BOH) students at the University of Melbourne Dental School. METHODS: Following ethics approval, anonymous questionnaires were completed by 213 participants. The questionnaire was adapted from Schwarz's Healthcare Provider Cultural Competence Instrument and consisted of five scales. Data was analysed using SPSS V 24.0 software. RESULTS: A total of 213 students participated in this study (response rate = 88%) The majority of participants were female (n = 114, 53.5%) and the mean age of 23.5 years (range 18-40). The majority of participants were Australian born (n = 110) with 74.6% (n = 159) first generation Australians. Participants who identified as Australian represented 35.7% (n = 76) with 66.1% (n = 141) identified as partly Australian. Multivariate analysis indicated that, after controlling for other independent variables in the model, those who had the highest cultural competence score were female, who self-identify as "Australian", who were in the final year. Furthermore, those who were in the final BOH year scored significatively higher than final year DDS students. CONCLUSION: The findings of this study suggest that there is a significant difference in students self-reported cultural competence at different stages of their education. This may be attributed to differences in cultural competence education, scope of practice and the type of patient encounters and role modelling that students may experience. Future research should involve follow up to create longitudinal data, as well as research at other dental schools in Australia and overseas.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Oral health promotion practices of Australian community mental health professionals: a cross sectional web-based survey
    McGrath, R ; Marino, R ; Satur, J (BMC, 2021-02-25)
    BACKGROUND: This study explored the oral health promotion practices of Australian community mental health professionals working with people living with severe mental illness (SMI). METHODS: An anonymous cross-sectional web-based survey was distributed to all Community Rehabilitation and Support Workers (CRSWs) working at Neami National (n = 471), an Australian community mental health service. The validated questionnaire assessed participants' self-rated oral health knowledge and confidence (7 questions); their perceived barriers (9 questions) and attitudes (5 questions) to oral health promotion; and their oral health promotion practices (7 questions). Differences in responses between groups were analysed using Chi-square, Fisher's exact and Mann-Whitney U tests. Logistic Regression Analysis served to explore the probability of providing oral health support to mental health consumers. RESULTS: A total of 141 CRSWs were included in this study, achieving a response rate of 30 percent. Roughly two-fifths (39.0%) of participants had oral health training in the previous 12-months. The majority of CRSWs (89.3%) believed ('Agreed' or 'Strongly agreed') that mental health support workers have a role to play in promoting oral health. However, less than half (44.0%) of CRSWs practiced oral health promotion activities when working with mental health consumers. When asked about barriers to promoting oral health, 'lack of consumer interest' was the most prevalent issue. CRSWs who had oral health training were over three-times (OR 3.5, 95% CI 1.25-9.83, p = 0.017) more likely to provide oral health support. Results showed the provision of oral health support was most strongly associated with self-rated knowledge and confidence (OR 4.089, 95% CI 1.629-10.263, p = 0.003) and attitudes to oral health promotion (OR 3.906, 95% CI 1.77-8.65, p = 0.001). CONCLUSION: The results of this study suggest that mental health support workers who have more positive attitudes to oral health promotion and who have higher self-rated oral health knowledge and confidence are more likely to provide oral health support in their professional role. Training for community mental health professionals is essential to build confidence and skills to promote oral health for mental health consumers.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Body mass index and dental caries in children and adolescents: a systematic review of literature published 2004 to 2011
    Hooley, M ; Skouteris, H ; Boganin, C ; Satur, J ; Kilpatrick, N (BMC, 2012-01-01)
    THE OBJECTIVE: The authors undertook an updated systematic review of the relationship between body mass index and dental caries in children and adolescents. METHOD: The authors searched Medline, ISI, Cochrane, Scopus, Global Health and CINAHL databases and conducted lateral searches from reference lists for papers published from 2004 to 2011, inclusive. All empirical papers that tested associations between body mass index and dental caries in child and adolescent populations (aged 0 to 18 years) were included. RESULTS: Dental caries is associated with both high and low body mass index. CONCLUSION: A non-linear association between body mass index and dental caries may account for inconsistent findings in previous research. We recommend future research investigate the nature of the association between body mass index and dental caries in samples that include a full range of body mass index scores, and explore how factors such as socioeconomic status mediate the association between body mass index and dental caries.