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Non‐clinical factors associated with referral to periodontal specialists


Kraatz, J and Hoang, H and Ivanovski, S and Ware, RS and Crocombe, LA, Non‐clinical factors associated with referral to periodontal specialists, Journal of Periodontology, 90 pp. 877-883. ISSN 0022-3492 (2019) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2019 American Academy of Periodontology

DOI: doi:10.1002/JPER.18-0642


Background: There is a limited body of literature exploring referral relationships between general dental practitioners and periodontists. Clinical and non‐clinical factors associated with the referral process are rarely considered however a better understanding of these will improve the general dentist practitioner and periodontal specialist relationship and benefit patient management. This study investigated which non‐clinical factors have an association with the referral of patients by general dental practitioners to periodontists in Tasmania, Australia.

Methods: A questionnaire was emailed to registered general dental practitioners in Tasmania, Australia and information collected on demographics, referral patterns, and potential factors which may influence referral.

Results: Response rate was 44.5%. Non‐clinical factors that influenced referral were previous treatment by a periodontist (70.8%), a complex medical history (56.8%), the patient's reluctance to undergo periodontal treatment, medico‐legal reasons, patient awareness of periodontal disease (47.3%), and lack of training (43.2%). Patients frequently declined periodontal referral due to cost (66.2%), oral health not being a priority (55.4%), or inconvenience (46.6%). The most important periodontist qualities were their reputation (84.0%), patient feedback (81.3%), ease of communication (72.0%), report quality (68.0%), and location (62.7%).

Conclusion: Non‐clinical factors, such as practice type‐, general dental practitioner‐, patient‐, periodontist‐related factors are associated with referral by general dental practitioners to periodontists for periodontal management.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:behavioral science, health services research, periodontitis
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Dentistry
Research Field:Periodontics
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Evaluation of health and support services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Hoang, H (Dr Ha Hoang)
UTAS Author:Crocombe, LA (Associate Professor Leonard Crocombe)
ID Code:130841
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2019-02-15
Last Modified:2019-12-06

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