Practitioner Participation in National Dental Practice-based Research Network (PBRN) Studies: 12-Year Results

J Am Board Fam Med. Nov-Dec 2018;31(6):844-856. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2018.06.180019.


Purpose: This study examines practitioner participation over 12 years in the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network (PBRN) studies and practitioner meetings, average length of participation, and association of practitioner- and practice-level characteristics with participation. Little information exists about practitioners' long-term participation in PBRNs.

Methods: The network conducted a retrospective analysis of practitioner participation in 3 main network activities during 2005 to 2017. Practitioners who completed an enrollment questionnaire, practiced in the United States, and either attended a network meeting or received an invitation to complete a questionnaire or clinical study were included in the analysis. Practitioners (n = 3669) met inclusion criteria. The network implemented 38 studies (28 clinical and 10 questionnaire), 23 of which (15 clinical and 8 questionnaire) met the criteria for the current analysis.

Results: Overall, 86% (N = 3148) participated in at least 1 network activity during 2005 to 2017. Questionnaire studies had the highest rate with 81% (N = 2963) completing at least 1, 21% (N = 762) completed at least 1 clinical study and 19% (N = 700) attended at least 1 network meeting. Among 1578 practitioners enrolled in the first 5 years of the Network launch, 20% (N = 320) participated in multiple network activities over 5 to 9 years, and 14% (N = 238) for 10 to 12 years. Practitioner characteristics associated with participation varied depending on the activity assessed.

Conclusion: The network engaged practitioners in its research activities with relatively high participation rates over a 12-year period. Strategies employed by the network to engage practitioners may serve as a model for PBRN networks for other allied health professions.

Keywords: Allied Health Personnel; Health Occupations; Retrospective Studies; Surveys and Questionnaires.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / statistics & numerical data
  • Dentistry / organization & administration*
  • Dentists / psychology
  • Dentists / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Services Research / methods
  • Health Services Research / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stakeholder Participation / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / statistics & numerical data
  • United States