Concordance Between Clinical Practice and Published Evidence: Findings From Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry

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Abstract

Objectives

To evaluate the concordance between clinical practice and published evidence by dental faculty and graduating students of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry.

Methods

A questionnaire previously developed by the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network with 12 clinical scenarios was administered to VCU faculty and graduating students. Responses were scored as either consistent or inconsistent with published evidence and then analyzed for differences between dental faculty, graduating students, and the national results.

Results

There were 43 dental faculty members with at least half-time student contact who responded to the survey. Faculty concordance ranged from 33% to 100%, and general practice faculty had the highest concordance (82%). Eighty-five of the graduating class of 98 responded to the survey, and student concordance ranged from 18% to 92% and averaged 67%. General practice faculty had higher concordance with published evidence than recently graduated dental students.

Conclusions

Graduating students and dental faculty demonstrated higher concordance with evidence-based practice than practitioners in the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network. General practice dental faculty demonstrated adequate concordance, but students demonstrated only a medium-level concordance. Practitioners involved in teaching dental students are better able to keep up with evolving evidence and are better able to demonstrate evidence-based practice.

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