Research Activities – Oral Health Practice Activity Study

Dental hygienist Leanne Trio providing oral health instruction to an aged care resident

Dental hygienist Leanne Trio providing oral health instruction to an aged care resident

The ARCPOH oral health practice activity study aims to capture a detailed picture of the services provided by oral health practitioners. There have been earlier studies on the practice activity of dental hygienists and some limited work on dental therapists practice in the public sector. However, this will be ARCPOH’s first study to collectively quantify and compare the practice activity of hygienists, therapists and the emerging oral health therapist labour force. The education, scope of practice and registration of these dental practitioner groups has changed considerably in recent years. Consequently these groups have gained increased policy attention.

While it is known that there are marked differences between these groups in terms of hours worked and employment across types of practices, current data on patterns of service provision and patient demographics is very limited. The study will also explore job satisfaction and associations between satisfaction and practice activity.

The collection of data will commence in late February. The project has strong support from the both the Dental Hygienists’ Association of Australian Inc. and the Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists’ Association.

The project, led by Associate Professor Brennan, is being conducted in collaboration with The University of Melbourne Dental School Associate Professor Julie Satur.

The project is funded by the NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence in Health Services Research grant.

For further information contact Dana Teusner, Research Associate.

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