Knowledge, attitudes and clinical behaviours
: an audit of the management of dry mouth by general dental practitioners in NHS Tayside

  • Ahmed Abdelghany

    Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Dental Science


    Aim: To audit the knowledge status, attitudes and the clinical management of patients presenting with dry mouth by general practitioners working in primary care dentistry in NHS Tayside.
    Method: A questionnaire was designed and sent out to all general dental practitioners working in the NHS Tayside geographic area. The questionnaire assessed the GDPs' knowledge about the condition of dry mouth, their attitudes towards treatment provision and referral to secondary level care.
    Results: Two hundred questionnaires were sent to all dentists in NHS Tayside. One hundred and fourteen were returned. The valid response rate was 58%. Dentists appeared to have a reasonable knowledge of the prevalence and the gender influence concerning dry mouth in the UK. In general, dentists felt that it was important to treat patients with dry mouth. They felt that dry mouth was not a trivial complaint and the condition had an effect on people's quality of life and their general health. Despite these positive attitudes, dentists didn't feel confident to manage patients with dry mouth. There is a lack of an evidence-based approach during history taking and selection of suitable treatment for a dry mouth patient.
    Conclusions: This sample would appear to be representative of those working in primary care in NHS Tayside. Dentists with higher confidence achieved a more detailed history from the patient presenting with dry mouth and were more intended to provide treatment to this patient group. Dentists working in the SDS intended to treat their patients who presented with dry mouth whereas those in the GDS had greater intentions to refer to secondary care.
    Recommendations: CPD courses for dentists must be available in order to increase dentists' knowledge, confidence and instill an evidence-based approach during history taking and treatment provision to enable appropriate care and referrals to secondary services.
    Date of Award2010
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorRuth Freeman (Supervisor) & Anita Nolan (Supervisor)

    Cite this