Communication In oral healthcare

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The literature shows that effective doctor-patient communication plays a key role in achieving improved health outcomes (1), whereas limited communication research was conducted in an oral healthcare setting (2-5). As dentistry is far different from medicine due to its large proportion of surgical work and special requirements of precision on clinical work, we cannot simply duplicate the research findings from doctor-patient communication in a dental scenario.  Furthermore dental anxiety has been shown as a prevalent unfavourable experience for many dental patients when they attend for dental treatment (6).  Increased dental anxiety may in part be responsible for the reports of many patients regarding reduced satisfaction with care provided and perceptions of unpleasant communication experience.  It has been suggested that this could have the potential to jeopardize the patient’s trust in their dentist and dental hygienist.  It is the opinion of this Group that to provide quality patient-centred care, dental health professionals, in general, and especially dentists should take it into account the effect of dental anxiety upon communication and be more aware of the importance of provider-patient communication.  Increased awareness would allow dental health professionals to, for example, identify and respond with empathy and objectivity to their patients’ felt needs and expressed concerns about their oral health. Therefore we propose to create a new Special Interest Group within EACH, focused on investigating communicative aspects of oral healthcare.

Important areas of research in communication and oral healthcare include (but are not limited to):

  1. Dentist-patient interaction during a communicative intervention;
  2. Impact of empathy upon the dentist-patient communication and their relationship and impact of interaction between dentists and patients on empathy development and subsequent patient satisfaction and trust;
  3. Patient-centred care in relation to dental anxiety and the impact of management of emotional cues/concerns of patients on patient centred care;
  4. Creation and validation of a consultation model for use in dentistry;
  5. Inter-professional communication in providing quality oral healthcare;
  6. Key factors in dentist-patient communication that affect the decision-making process;
  7. Tailoring of oral health education within a patient-centred approach to enable behaviour change;
  8. Communication between dentists and special patient groups such as child dental patients, patients with special needs and families of patients involved in the communication process.

Oral healthcare communication research will enable the exploration of key factors that facilitate effective communication and improved experience of dental care for patients and dentists.  Other factors exist in the dentist-patient communication that are associated with success in negotiated treatment plans, patient treatment adherence, patients’ adoption of favourable oral health-related behaviour, increased patient satisfaction and reduced dental anxiety. Moreover, evidence-based research in the area of oral healthcare communication will inform curriculum development of dental undergraduate education, continuing professional development and evidence-based training in communication skills for oral healthcare providers.

The establishment of this special interest group will contribute to:

  • promoting the evidence-based research on patient-centred oral healthcare communication;
  • facilitating the dialogue on shared evidence-based knowledge, skills and ideas among SIG members;
  • strengthening the link with members with special interests of oral healthcare communication.

1. White, R.O., Svetlana, E., Wallston, K.A., Kripalani, S., Barto, Shari., Shintani, A., & Rothman, R.L. (2015). Health communication, self-care, and treatment satisfaction among low-income diabetes patients in a public health setting. Patient Educ Couns, 98:144-149.
2. Wright, A., Humphris, G., Wanyonyi, K. L., & Freeman, R. (2012). Using the verona coding definitions of emotional sequences (VR-CoDES) and health provider responses (VR-CoDES-P) in the dental context. Patient Educ Couns, 2012. 89(1): p. 205-8.
3. Zhou, Y., Cameron, E., Forbes, G., & Humphris G. (2012). Development of a novel coding scheme (SABICS) to record nurse-child interactive behaviours in a community dental preventive intervention. Patient Educ Couns, 88(2): p. 268-76.
4. Zhou, Y., Forbes, G.M., Macpherson, L.M.D., Ball, G.E., & Humphris, G.M. (2012). The behaviour of extended duties dental nurses and the acceptance of fluoride varnish application in preschool children. British Dental Journal, 213(12): p. 603-9.
5. Jones, L.M. & Huggins, T.J. (2014). Empathy in the dentist-patient relationship: review and application. N Z Dent J. 110(3): 98-104.
6. Freeman, R. & Humphris, G. (2006). Communicating in dental practice: remaining stress free and improving patient care. London: Quintessence Publishing Co Ltd.

Officers

Dr. Siyang Yuan (Chair)
s.z.yuan@dundee.ac.uk
+44 1382 381722
Dental Health Services Research Unit
School of Dentistry
University of Dundee
Park Place
Dundee DD1 4HN, UK
Professor Ruth Freeman
r.e.freeman@dundee.ac.uk
+44 1382 381710
Dental Health Services Research Unit
School of Dentistry
University of Dundee
Park Place
Dundee, UK
Professor Gerry Humphris
gmh4@st-andrews.ac.uk
+44 1334 463565
Medical and Biological Sciences Building
University of St Andrews
North Haugh
St Andrews
Fife KY16 9TF, UK
Dr Yuefang Zhou
yz10@st-andrews.ac.uk
+44 1334 461866
Medical and Biological Sciences Building
University of St Andrews
North Haugh
St Andrews
Fife KY16 9TF, UK
Professor Myriam Deveugele
myriam.deveugele@ugent.be
+32 9 3322182
UZ 6K3
De Pintelaan 185
B9000 Ghent – Belgium
Karolien Aelbrecht
Karolien.Aelbrecht@UGent.be
+32 9 3320522
Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Ghent University
De Pintelaan 185-6K3
B9000 Ghent – Belgium
Lode Verreyen
lode.verreyen@ugent.be
+32 9 3320666
Ghent University
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care
De Pintelaan 185 – 6K3
B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
Professor Satu Lahti
satu.lahti@utu.fi
+358-2-333 8383
Institute of Dentistry
FI-20014 University of Turku
Finland
Dr Brett Duane
Brett.Duane@dental.tcd.ie
+353-1-6127316
Public & Child Dental Health
‎Dublin Dental University Hospital
2 Lincoln Pl, Dublin 2, Ireland
Alison Dougall
alison.dougall@dental.tcd.ie
+353-1-6127316
Department of Special Care Dentistry
‎Dublin Dental University Hospital
2 Lincoln Pl, Dublin 2, Ireland
Jorun Torper
joruntorper@gmail.com
+47-22852060
Postboks 1109 Blindern
0317 OSLO
Norway
Professor Barry Gibson
b.j.gibson@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 (0) 114 271 7889
Unit of Dental Public Health
School of Clinical Dentistry
The University of Sheffield
31 Claremont Crescent
Sheffield S10 2TA, UK
Alison Patrick
a.c.patrick@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 (0)114 27 17886
Unit of Dental Public Health
School of Clinical Dentistry
The University of Sheffield
31 Claremont Crescent
Sheffield S10 2TA, UK

Additional Information

Wright A, Humphris G, Wanyonyi KL, Freeman R. Using the verona coding definitions of emotional sequences (VR-CoDES) and health provider responses (VR-CoDES-P) in the dental context. Patient Educ Couns 2012; 89:205-208.

Zhou Y, Black R, Freeman R, Herron D, Humphris G, Menzies R, Quinn S, Scott L, Waller A. Applying the Verona coding definitions of emotional sequences (VR-CoDES) in the dental context involving patients with complex communication needs: An exploratory study. . Patient Educ Couns 2014 97:180-187.

Zhou Y, Cameron E, Forbes G, Humphris G. Development of a novel coding scheme (SABICS) to record nurse-child interactive behaviours in a community dental preventive intervention. Patient Educ Couns, 2012. 88(2): 268-76.

Zhou Y, Forbes G, Macpherson GM, Ball GE, Humphris GM. The behaviour of extended duties dental nurses and the acceptance of fluoride varnish application in preschool children. British Dental Journal, 2012. 213(12): 603-9.

Zhou Y, Humphris GM. Reassurance and Distress Behavior in Preschool Children Undergoing Dental Preventive Care Procedures in a Community Setting: a Multilevel Observational Study. Ann Behav Med, 2013.