The contributions of qualitative research towards dental public health practice

E Bower, S Scambler

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Dental public health (DPH) researchers have traditionally relied on quantitative methods for scientific enquiry. This paper argues that qualitative methodology can make a significant contribution to DPH knowledge and practice because it allows researchers to answer important questions of relevance to procedure and policy that are difficult to answer satisfactorily using quantitative methods alone. Qualitative research can also challenge the norms and assumptions of DPH practice. There are tensions in the relationship between qualitative research and the prevailing paradigm of evidence-based practice (EBP) which potentially influence the utility of DPH-related qualitative research. However, the relevance of qualitative research is increasing as the scope of EBP enquiry extends beyond questions of effectiveness, and methods are developed for incorporating qualitative research into systematic reviews
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161 - 169
Number of pages9
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


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