Mind the gap: A systematic review of implementation of screening for psychological comorbidity in dental and dental hygiene education

Birgitta Häggman-Henrikson, Ewacarin Ekberg, Dominik A. Ettlin, Ambra Michelotti, Justin Durham, Jean Paul Goulet, Corine M. Visscher, Karen G. Raphael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The biopsychosocial model is advocated as part of a more comprehensive approach in both medicine and dentistry. However, dentists have not traditionally been taught psychosocial screening as part of their predoctoral education. The aim of this systematic review was to provide an overview of published studies on the implementation of screening for psychological comorbidity in dental and dental hygiene education. The term "psychological comorbidity" refers to the degree of coexisting anxiety, depression, or other mental health problems in a patient presenting with a physical condition. The review followed a protocol registered in PROSPERO (CRD42016054083) and was carried out in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. The methodological quality of the included studies was assessed using a ten-item tool developed for medical education. The electronic search in PubMed, Scopus, and PsycINFO from the inception of each database until December 31, 2016, together with a hand search, identified 1,777 articles. After abstracts were screened, 52 articles were reviewed in full text applying inclusion and exclusion criteria; four articles remained for the qualitative synthesis. Generally, the reported data on specific methods or instruments used for psychological screening were limited. Only one of the included articles utilized a validated screening tool. The results of this systematic review show that published data on the implementation of psychological patient assessment in dental and dental hygiene education are limited. To address this gap, the authors recommend short screening tools such as the Graded Chronic Pain Scale and the Patient Health Questionnaire for Depression and Anxiety. Educating dental and dental hygiene students about easy-to-use, reliable, and validated screening tools for assessing psychological comorbidity warrants more research attention and greater implementation in educational curricula.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1065-1076
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of dental education
Volume82
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

Keywords

  • Attitude of health personnel
  • Behavioral sciences
  • Dental education
  • Dental hygiene education
  • Patient management
  • Patient-centered care
  • Psychological biopsychosocial
  • Psychosocial aspects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Dentistry(all)

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