A systematic literature review of the information-seeking behavior of dentists in developed countries
Isham, A and Bettiol, S and Hoang, H and Crocombe, L, A systematic literature review of the information-seeking behavior of dentists in developed countries, Journal Of Dental Education, 80, (5) pp. 569-577. ISSN 0022-0337 (2016) [Refereed Article]
Understanding the information-seeking behavior of dentists may inform ways to increase the dentist uptake of evidence-based research for clinical decision making and the practice of evidence-based dentistry, but no systematic review of dentist information-seeking behavior has been conducted. This review aimed to synthesize the best available evidence on where and how dentists seek information. A literature search of Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, and reference lists of English language studies from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries of dentists' information-seeking behavior published between 2002 and 2014 was conducted. Selected articles were assessed using mixed methods analysis, and the data extracted were thematically synthesized. Nine studies met the inclusion criteria, and four main themes were identified: dentists' difficulty translating evidence-based resources into clinical practice; dentists' preference for face-to-face meetings, collegial discussion, and print materials over evidence-based resources; dentists' perceptions of the validity of evidence-based resources and the role of specialist and experienced dentists as information sources for general and less experienced dentists; and differences between early and late adopters of research evidence. Dentists in these studies tended to adopt new materials/techniques after discussion with a colleague, a dental specialist, or a respected dental expert. These dentists also reported lacking time, experience, skills, and confidence to find and use evidence-based resources. Many of the dentists studied were cautious about making decisions based on documentary sources like literature reviews and preferred to seek advice from an experienced or specialist colleague or to participate in face-to-face meetings.