Practitioner evaluation of an on-line oral health and risk assessment tool for young patients

Mike Busby, Stephen Fayle, Liz Chapple, Henry Clover, Iain Chapple

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Abstract

Aim: To test the validity and acceptability of an online oral health assessment and biofeedback tool for young patients (under 17) for use in general dental practice.
Methods: A convenience sample of thirteen practitioners were recruited to test the functionality of a novel version of the Denplan PreViser Patient Assessment tool (DEPPA) developed for young patients (YDEPPA). Dentists who had completed 8 or more assessments during a one month window were sent a link to an on line feedback survey, comprising 8 statements about YDEPPA, with scoring options of 0-10, where a score of 10 indicated complete agreement with the relevant questions. Verbatim comments were encouraged. The clinical data submitted was held in a central database in an encrypted format so that only the user practice could identify individual patients. 
Results: Twelve practitioners completed 8 or more assessments and were included in the survey. A total of 175 patient assessments were received. Ten practitioners completed the on-line survey. The statement ’YDEPPA produces a valid measurement of each patient’s oral health’ received an average feedback score of 8.8. The statement ‘The full YDEPPA report is a valuable communication aid’ received a score of 9.6. Feedback was generally very positive with all scores > 8.2. Constructive critical feedback was received for the caries risk aspect of the YDEPPA protocol, with suggestions made for improving objectivity of data inputs. Eighty one percent of the verbatim comments received were positive. 
Conclusions: Once the caries risk issues raised by pilot dentists have been addressed, YDEPPA appears suitable as a pragmatic analytical and biofeedback tool for use in general dental practice to assess the oral health of young patients, and to facilitate education and engagement of young patients and their parents/carers in positive health behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-599
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Early online date13 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Oct 2017

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