Reporting of occupational exposures to blood and body fluids in the primary dental care setting in Scotland: an evaluation of current practice and attitudes

P. Leavy, A. Templeton, L. Young, C. McDonnell

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    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objectives To evaluate experience, practice and beliefs regarding occupational exposures to blood and oral fluids among a random sample of 300 dentists working in Scotland's NHS primary dental services.Method A cross-sectional postal survey assessed occupational exposure policies and procedures, recent occupational exposure incidence and current management. Beliefs were measured using constructs from the theory of planned behaviour, shown to influence behaviour in this population.Results Forty-two percent of dentists responded. Fourteen percent had sustained an occupational exposure in the previous 12 months; of those, 35% did not report their exposure. All respondents' practices had protocols in place for managing and reporting dental team member sharps injuries. Most (82%) had protocols for mucocutaneous exposures. Less than half (48%) had a protocol for managing and reporting patient exposures to blood or saliva. Dentists placed significantly more importance (z-score -4.44, p value <0.001) and necessity (z-score -4.17, p value <0.001) on reporting patient exposure than dentist occupational exposure.

    Conclusion This study suggests that while dentists generally have positive beliefs about reporting occupational exposures, there are gaps in practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberE7
    Number of pages5
    JournalBritish Dental Journal
    Volume217
    Issue number4
    Early online date22 Aug 2014
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014

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