Knowledge, dentist confidence and management of periodontal patients among general dentists from Belarus, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova and Romania Aleksejuniene, Jolanta; Pūrienė, Alina; Rimkervicius, Arunas; Amariei, Corneliu; Oancea, Roxana; Porosencova, Tatiana; Porosencov, Egor; Nikolovska, Julijana; Mirnaya, Elena; Serova-Papakul, Aleksandra; et al.
Background: Evidence concerning periodontal practice in Eastern European countries is scarce. The aim of the present study was to investigate periodontal risk knowledge, patient management and self-perceived confidence among General Dentists (GDs) from five Eastern European regarding their provision of periodontal care. Methods: GDs from Belarus, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova and Romania participated in a questionnaire survey. Power calculations were used to identify the sample size for each country. The structured questionnaire included several domains of inquiry. The socio-demographic domain inquired about dentist’s age, gender and years of clinical experience. The dental practice domain inquired about practice location, practising or not practising in a group practice and having or not having a periodontist or a dental hygienist in the practice. The distributions of answers across-countries were compared employing one way ANOVA (comparison of means) or Chi square test (comparison of proportions). For each country, the predictors of the study outcomes: a summative knowledge score for periodontal risks and dentist’s confidence level were identified employing either linear or logistic multiple regression models. Results: The sample comprised 390 Belarussian, 488 Lithuanian, 349 Macedonian, 316 Moldovan, and 401 Romanian GDs. The majority of GDs (~ 80%) practiced in urban areas. Age and gender distributions differed significantly among countries. Significant across-country differences were found regarding working/not working in a group practice, having/not having access to a periodontist/dental hygienist and in proportions of patients receiving periodontal treatments or being referred to specialists. None of Macedonian patients nor the majority of Moldovan patients (78%) were referred to periodontists. There were also significant across-country differences in diagnosis, patient management and periodontal knowledge. Only in the Lithuanian cohort were dentists’ confidence levels associated significantly with their knowledge. In all countries, taking a medical history was a consistent and significant predictor of having higher periodontal knowledge score. Except in Belarus, periodontal risk assessment was a significantly consistent predictor of certainty levels associated with the provision of periodontal treatments. Conclusions: There were substantial differences among GDs in the five countries regarding diagnosis, dentist’s confidence and management of periodontal patients.
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