The Dental, Oral, Medical Epidemiological (DOME) Study: Protocol and Study Methods

Methods Inf Med. 2020 Aug;59(4-05):119-130. doi: 10.1055/s-0040-1718582. Epub 2020 Oct 20.


Objectives: To develop and present the methods utilized for the Dental, Oral, Medical Epidemiological (DOME) study.

Methods: The DOME is an electronic record-based cross-sectional study, that was conducted to measure the dental, periodontal, and oral morbidities and their associations with systemic morbidities, among a nationally representative sample of young to middle-aged adults military personnel from the IDF (Israel Defense Forces). To that end, we developed a strict protocol including standardized terminology, data collection, and handling.

Results: Data for the DOME study was derived simultaneously from three electronic records of the IDF: (1) a central demographic database, (2) the dental patient record (DPR), and (3) the medical computerized patient record (CPR). The established DOME repository includes socio-demographic, dental and medical records of 132,354 young to middle-age military personnel from the IDF, who attended the dental clinics during the year 2015. Records of general military personnel (N > 50,000), with no recorded dental visits during the study period, served as a control group regarding all other parameters except dental. The DOME study continues and is currently collecting longitudinal data from the year 2010 until 2020. The IDF employs a standardized uniform administrative and clinical work-up and treatment protocols as well as uniform computerized codes. We describe the standardized definitions for all the parameters that were included: socio-demographics, health-related habits, medical and dental attendance patterns, and general and dental health status. Multicollinearity analysis results of the sociodemographic and medical study parameters are presented.

Conclusion: Standardized work-up and definitions are essential to establish the centralized DOME data repository to study the extent of dental and systemic morbidities and their associations.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Middle Aged
  • Military Personnel*