March 2016

Volume 33, Issue 1

Dental service provision by oral health therapists, dental hygienists and dental therapists in Australia: implications for workforce modelling

Authors: D.N. Teusner N. Amarasena J. Satur S. Chrisopoulos D.S. Brennan
doi: 10.1922/CDH_3848Teusner08

Abstract

Objective: Dental service provision rates are necessary for workforce planning. This study estimates patient and service rates for oral health therapists (OHTs), dental hygienists (DHs) and dental therapists (DTs). To identify important variables for workforce modelling, variations in rates by practice characteristics were assessed. Design: A cross-sectional self-complete mailed questionnaire collected demographic and employment characteristics, and clinical activity on a self-selected typical day of practice. Setting: Private and public dental practices in Australia. Participants: Members of the two professional associations representing DHs, DTs and OHTs. Methods: For each practitioner type, means and adjusted rate ratios of patients per hour, services per visit and preventive services per visit were estimated. Comparisons by practice characteristics were assessed by negative binomial regression models. Results: Response rate was 60.6% (n=1,083), 90.9% were employed of which 86.3% were working in clinical practice and completed the service log. Mean services per patient visit provided by OHTs, DHs and DTs were 3.7, 3.5 and 3.3 and mean preventive services per patient were 2.1, 2.1 and 1.8 respectively. For all three groups, adjusting for explanatory variables, the rate of preventive services per patient varied significantly by practice type (general or specialist) and by the proportion of child patients treated. Conclusion: Services rates varied by age distribution of patients and type of practice. If these factors were anticipated to vary over-time, then workforce planning models should consider accounting for the potential impact on capacity to supply services by these dental workforce groups. Key words: dental services, dental service provision rates, dental hygienists, dental therapists, oral health therapists, practice activity, workforce planning, Australia

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Other articles in this issue

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Editorial: An invitation to the European Association of Dental Public Health 21st birthday! 4-5 Download
A review of daycase GA services for Special Care patients at University Hospital, Bristol 6-8 £10 single article
Evaluation of the telephone and clinical NHS urgent dental service in Sheffield 9-14 £10 single article
Dental service provision by oral health therapists, dental hygienists and dental therapists in Australia: implications for workforce modelling 15-22 Download
Fluoride varnish or fluoride mouth rinse? A comparative study of two school-based programs 23-26 £10 single article
A randomized controlled trial of cluster audit and feedback on the quality of dental sealant for rural schoolchildren 27-32 £10 single article
Identifying and prioritising areas of child dental service need: a GIS-based approach 33-38 £10 single article
Areca chewing among Sri Lankan adolescents 39-43 £10 single article
Identification of barriers and beliefs influencing engagement by adult and teen Mexican-Americans in oral health behaviors 44-47 £10 single article
Are oral health-related self-efficacy, knowledge and fatalism indicators for non-toothbrush ownership in a homeless population? 48-53 £10 single article
Sense of coherence modifies the association between untreated dental caries and dental pain in low-social status women 54-59 £10 single article
Oral cancer awareness in young South-Asian communities in London 60-65 £10 single article

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