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Dental practitioner rural work movements: A systematic review


Godwin, D and Hoang, Ha and Crocombe, LA and Bell, EJ, Dental practitioner rural work movements: A systematic review, 2013 Primary Health Care Research Conference: Program & Abstracts., 10-12 July 2013, The Hilton, Sydney (2013) [Conference Extract]


Systematically review literature on improving recruitment and retention of the rural dental health workforce. People from rural areas are more likely to suffer from poorer oral health and have poorer access to dental care than their metropolitan counterparts partly due to the unequal distribution of dental health practitioners working in rural and remote areas.


Two reviewers independently reviewed English-language studies and reviews in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries between 1990 and November 2012. Keywords include: recruitment, retention, rural, strategies and dental practitioners. Databases searched: PubMed, CINAHL, Informit, Web of Science, Scopus and Summon.

Principal findings,

Fourteen articles were found to meet the inclusion criteria. Few studies focussed both on rural area and the dental health workforce on a national scale. The findings were limited due to differences between geographically specific locales, or by combining dental professionals with other health workers giving a generalised overview of the health workforce. Strategies identified to address health workforce recruitment were limited; focusing on rural exposure, rural background and financial incentives. However, the long-term outcomes were unclear.


Further studies are required to investigate why dental practitioners do, and donít move to, or stay in Australian rural areas. There are some generic learnings from the international rural health workforce literature. However, research focused on Australian dental practitioners of all types must be conducted before successful strategies can be developed in order to better address the maldistribution of the dental workforce.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:rural areas, dental practitioners, recruitment, retention
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Dentistry
Research Field:Dentistry not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Godwin, D (Mrs Diana Godwin)
UTAS Author:Hoang, Ha (Dr Ha Hoang)
UTAS Author:Crocombe, LA (Associate Professor Leonard Crocombe)
UTAS Author:Bell, EJ (Associate Professor Erica Bell)
ID Code:86110
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2013-08-23
Last Modified:2014-03-20

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