Why don't dental teams routinely discuss dentine hypersensitivity during consultations? A qualitative study informed by the Theoretical Domains Framework

Koula Asimkapoulou, Nicola West, Maria Davies, Anisha Gupta, Charlie Parkinson, Sasha Scambler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim: Although dentine hypersensitivity is widespread, can cause substantial pain and impact quality of life, it is not routinely discussed during dental consultations. This qualitative study aimed to develop an understanding of the barriers and facilitators to these discussions. Materials and Methods: Using the Theoretical Domains Framework to shape the topic guide, N = 7 online focus groups were organized with a total N = 40 participants comprising experienced dentists, dental foundation trainees and dental care professionals. Inductive and deductive thematic analyses of the anonymized, transcribed focus group conversations were undertaken. Results: An attitude–behaviour gap was observed in dental teams' accounts. Although they saw it as part of their professional role to routinely discuss sensitivity, and believed that such conversations were ‘an easy win’, in practice they experienced several behavioural barriers that hindered these conversations from taking place. These included competing priorities, a perceived lack of seriousness and assessment of dentine hypersensitivity and practical issues such as time. Conclusions: Systemic (e.g., lack of time and training, professional culture) and behavioural (e.g., dental teams' belief that conversations should take place only with patients likely to be adherent) barriers to dentine hypersensitivity conversations explain why these conversations do not routinely take place.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-126
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Periodontology
Volume51
Issue number2
Early online date10 Oct 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

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