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Dentists' awareness and knowledge of evidence- based dentistry principles, methods and practices: a systematic review

Abstract

Introduction As an attempt to provide supporting evidence for the formulation of future educational strategies on knowledge translation, this systematic review assessed and synthesised the available evidence related to the dentists' awareness, perceived and actual knowledge of evidence-based dentistry (EBD) principles, methods and practices.

Methods Primary studies that considered dentists' reports collected from interviews, questionnaires, or conversation sessions were selected. Studies enrolling students, dental hygienists, or other health professionals were not included. Reviews, editorials, letters, study protocols, articles presenting knowledge translation strategies and initiatives, examples of EBD approaches to specific clinical questions, and guidelines focused on EBD implementation were also excluded. Cochrane, Embase, PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science databases were searched. Grey literature was partially covered by the Google Scholar search and the reference lists of the pre-selected studies. The study search was concluded in February 2021. Descriptive data of the selected studies were synthesised, and the risk of bias was assessed according to the National Institutes of Health Quality Assessment Tool for observational cohort and cross-sectional studies.

Results Twenty-one articles were included. High percentages of dentists were aware of EBD. Variable proportions of professionals declared to have some understanding of EBD, although few presented actual knowledge of principles, methods and practices.

Discussion Methodologically, most studies presented limitations regarding sample representativity, participation rates, detailing of the outcome measures, and validation of the assessment tools. Additionally, extensive overall ranges of responses were often observed across the studies, possibly as a result of heterogeneity across samples and assessment tools. The authors thus suggest developing valid questionnaires including all dimensions (awareness, perceived knowledge and actual knowledge) within an assessment tool. This would contribute to establishing knowledge translation strategies to overcome specific gaps in EBD knowledge.

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Acknowledgements

The authors have nothing to acknowledge. The authors are willing to provide template data collection forms, data extracted from included studies, data used for all analyses, analytic code, or any other materials used in the review, if requested.

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Murilo Fernando Neuppmann Feres: conception of the work, acquisition of data, data analysis, interpretation of data, drafting the work, critical review for intellectual content, final approval of the submitted version. Maxwell Lopes Albuini: acquisition of data, drafting the work, final approval of the submitted version. Renata Pires de Araújo Castro Santos: acquisition of data, drafting the work, final approval of the submitted version. Luciano Aparecido de Almeida-Junior: acquisition of data, data analysis, drafting the work, final approval of the submitted version. Carlos Flores-Mir: conception of the work, acquisition of data, data analysis, interpretation of data, drafting the work, critical review for intellectual content, final approval of the submitted version. Marina Guimarães Roscoe: conception of the work, acquisition of data, data analysis, interpretation of data, drafting the work, critical review for intellectual content, final approval of the submitted version.

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Correspondence to Murilo Fernando Neuppmann Feres.

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Feres, M., Albuini, M., de Araújo Castro Santos, R. et al. Dentists' awareness and knowledge of evidence- based dentistry principles, methods and practices: a systematic review. Evid Based Dent (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41432-022-0821-2

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