Knowledge of evidence-based research methodology amongst orthodontic postgraduate residents in four universities: An international survey

Spyridon N. Papageorgiou*, Despina Koletsi, Raphael Patcas, Jadbinder Seehra, Martyn T. Cobourne, Leslie A. Will, Theodore Eliades

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Aim: The aim of this international survey was to assess knowledge concerning the design, conduct, critical appraisal and synthesis of clinical studies among senior orthodontic postgraduate residents. Materials and methods: Senior postgraduate residents from four universities in Europe and the United States were invited to complete a custom questionnaire. The overall correct answer score and proportion of residents correctly answering each of the 10 questions within the survey were analysed with descriptive statistics, analysis-of-variance, chi-squares test and linear regression at 5%. Results: A total of 46 residents with mean age of 30.4 years scored an overall % correct score of 48.8% ± 13.8%, with the % of correct answers to each question ranging from 7 to 89%. The worst-answered questions pertained to correctly characterizing sensitivity and specificity (7%), number needed to treat (9%), credibility of trial synthesis in meta-analysis (35%) and publication bias (37%). The vast majority of postgraduate students could correctly identify entities that can be blinded in a randomized trial (89%), statistical power of a trial (74%) and proper methods for random allocation sequence (67%). No statistically significant differences were found among the four included universities, while residents having obtained another degree apart from dentistry scored better than others (+9.5%; 95% confidence interval: 0.6% to 18.5%; P = 0.04). Conclusions: Postgraduate residents in orthodontics possessed moderate knowledge on evidence-based methodology. Efforts should be reinforced to assimilate research methodology perspectives in the postgraduate curricula of universities, in order to further augment critical training of orthodontic specialists.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100609
JournalInternational Orthodontics
Issue number1
Early online date26 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Clinical studies
  • Educational assessment
  • Epidemiologic research design
  • Evidence-based dentistry
  • Orthodontics
  • Questionnaire
  • Survey


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