Objective: We examined whether evidence-based practice (EBP) during dental school was associated with the increased use of peer-reviewed literature during subsequent clinical practice for National Dental Practice-Based Research Network (PBRN) dentists. We also sought to understand whether this association was moderated by being a dental specialist.
Methods: We analyzed cross-sectional data from 1228 dentists participating in the PBRN. We used logistic regression to examine the association between self-reported EBP training during dental school and the use of peer-reviewed journals in clinical practice, controlling for the number of years since dental school graduation and dental practice type. We stratified the data by dental specialists and examined effect modification using the Breslow-Day test for homogeneity of the odds ratio.
Results: The prevalence of peer-reviewed journal use by PBRN dentists in clinical practice was 87% (n = 1070) with no statistical evidence of effect modification by dental specialists on the EBP peer-reviewed journal use relationship (p > 0.05). After controlling for years since dental school graduation and dental practice type, dentists who self-reported EBP training during dental school had greater odds of using peer-reviewed journals in clinical practice than dentists who did not self-report EBP training during dental school (OR, 1.47; 95%CI = 1.01, 2.15).
Conclusion: The use of peer-reviewed published literature by PBRN dentists who had EBP predoctoral training is one important step in the EBP process by which practicing dentists can implement evidence-based findings, interventions, and policies into routine health care and public health settings. These findings add to the body of support for EBP curricula in dental education.
Keywords: dental; education; evidence-based dentistry; information-seeking behavior; peer-review; research.
© 2021 American Dental Education Association.