June 2009

Volume 26, Issue 2

The use of conversation mapping to frame key perceptual issues facing the general dental practice system in England.

Authors: R.V. Harris J.M. Dancer D. Smith S. Campbell
doi: 10.1922/CDH_2279Harris08


Objective: To demonstrate the use of a novel qualitative methodology namely conversation mapping, which can be used to capture differences in stakeholder perspectives and give a root definition of the problem in a complex policy area. The methodology is used in the context of the changes introduced in the English general dental practice system in April 2006, to investigate the key issues facing the system, as perceived by general dental practitioners (GDPs). Basic research design: From a broad trigger statement, three transformational statements were produced. Each participant recorded their contribution on a hard diagrammatic form as a ‘map’, with others responding with their own written comment, thus generating three conversation maps. Thematic analysis resulted in the generation of a preliminary model summarising key perceptual issues. Results: The five emergent themes identified were: financing, dentists’ wants/needs, the role of the public and patients, system goals and policy level decision making. Financing was identified as the core category to which all other categories were related. Conclusions: Conversation mapping, a methodology arising from a systems approach, can be used to develop a ‘rich picture’ of an oral health care system in order to define the core problem within this policy area. Findings suggest that GDPs identify the financing of the system as a fundamental source of problems within the general dental practice system. This appears to be at variance with the perception of policy makers, who report a more limited view, identifying the system of remuneration as the ‘heart of the problem’. Keywords: Financing, General Dental Service, policy, qualitative research 05/06/2009 15:29:11


Other articles in this issue

Article Pages Access
Editorial 66-68 Download
Racial and ethnic differences in a regular source of dental care and the oral health, behaviors, beliefs and services of lowincome mothers 69-76 Download
Association of urgent dental care with subjective oral health indicators and psychosocial impact 77-83 Download
The use of conversation mapping to frame key perceptual issues facing the general dental practice system in England. 84-91 Download
Deprivation and access to dental care in a socially diverse metropolitan area 92-98 Download
Seroepidemiology of hepatitis C antibodies among dentists and their self-reported use of infection control measures 99-103 Download
Relationships between patient characteristics and reasons for tooth extraction in Japan 104-109 Download
Differences in oral health behaviour between children from high and children from low SES schools in the Netherlands. 110-115 Download
Caries prevalence in Suriname schoolchildren 116-120 Download
Early childhood caries and related risk factors in Mongolian children 121-128 Download


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