A paper published in this issue of the BDJ evaluates a CPD package designed to reduce stress, build resilience and improve clinical decision-making in primary care dentists.1
Stress and burnout are common in primary care dentistry. Authors Helen Chapman, Susan Chipchase and Roger Bretherton developed a bespoke bibliotherapy package: a standard method of delivering self-help cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which has been used effectively in other groups, and tested it on volunteer dentists in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. The authors aimed to evaluate the efficacy of the package in improving coping skills, building resilience and reducing the impact of anxiety on dentists' clinical decision-making.
The study found a clinically and statistically significant reduction in depression, anxiety and stress levels in the participants at six weeks, and a statistically significant reduction in burnout and hypervigilant decision-making as a result of using the CPD package, as well as an increase in personal achievement. These improvements were maintained at six months and the dentists who participated were extremely positive about the project.
The British Dental Association (BDA) has just launched an online course on Tackling stress: identifying and dealing with stress in your workplace. According to the BDA, dental professionals are more likely than the general population to exhibit harmful symptoms of stress such as cardiovascular disease, alcoholism, drug abuse, divorce and suicide. Their new online course will help dentists to identify their personal level of stress, what causes you to be stressed, how you respond, and how you might deal with it. Two modules are available, each providing an hour of verifiable CPD. Visit the CPD Hub: https://cpd.bda.org/login/index.php.
Chapman H R, Chipchase S Y, Bretherton R . The evaluation of a continuing professional development package for primary care dentists designed to reduce stress, build resilience and improve clinical decision-making. Br Dent J 2017; 223: 261–271.
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Self-help package successful in combating dentist stress. Br Dent J 223, 241 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.2017.698