Survey Of Dental Hygienists' Diabetes Knowledge And Practices
Authors: Boyd, Linda D; Hartman, Maryann; Calomeni, Jean
Source: Journal of Dental Hygiene, Number 5 Fall 1st October 2008 , pp. 51-51(1)
Publisher: American Dental Hygienists' Association
Abstract:Given the increasing incidence of diabetes in the United States and the risk for more severe periodontal disease in individuals with poorly controlled diabetes, it is essential to provide access to professional education to prepare oral health providers to care for this population. The purpose of this survey was to assess the diabetes knowledge, beliefs, and practices of dental hygienists in order to identify professional continuing education needs. A five-part survey was constructed using the American Diabetes Association 2007 Clinical Practice Guidelines for standards of care for diabetes mellitus along with an American Association of Periodontology Commissioned Review of diabetes and periodontal disease. An invitation to participate was disseminated electronically via mailing lists and a newsletter sent to American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA) members. A convenience sample of dental hygienists (n=392) with representation from 48 states participated. The majority of the respondents were female (99%), ages 41 to 60 (60.1%), and in practice > 16 years (58.3%). Seventy to eighty percent of participants responded correctly to the questions on general diabetes and oral health knowledge. The major deficit in knowledge was associated with the patient's hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) value and implications for diabetes control (50%). The survey responses indicated confusion about the current classifications of diabetes with approximately seventy percent of respondents using classifications which are no longer recognized. Seventy-five to ninety percent of participants were unfamiliar with the impact of various types of insulin and newer diabetes medications on dental care. The sample of dental hygienists in this survey demonstrated a need for enhancing knowledge about diabetes as it applies to clinical patient care. In particular, the areas of greatest need included the American Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guidelines for standards of care, diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, medications, and best practices for interacting with other health professionals caring for people with diabetes.
Document Type: Abstract
Publication date: 2008-09-01