Practice characteristics associated with patient-specific receipt of dental diagnostic radiographs

Academic Article


  • Objective. To quantify the role of practice characteristics in patient-specific receipt of dental diagnostic radiographic services. Data Source/Study Setting. Florida Dental Care Study (FDCS). Study Design. The FDCS was a 48-month prospective observational cohort study of community-dwelling adults. Participants' dentists were asked to complete a questionnaire about their practice characteristics. Data Collection/Extraction Methods. In-person interviews and clinical examinations were conducted at baseline, 24, and 48 months, with 6-monthly telephone interviews in between. A single multivariate (four radiographic service outcomes) multivariable (multiple explanatory covariates) logistic regression was used to model service receipts. Principal Findings. These practice characteristics were significantly associated with patient-specific receipt of radiographic services: number of different practices attended during follow-up; dentist's rating of how busy the practice was; typical waiting time for a new patient examination; practice size; percentage of patients that the dentist reported as interested in details about the condition of their mouths; percentage of African American patients in the practice; percentage of patients in the practice who do not have dental insurance; and dentist's agreement with a statement regarding whether patients should be dismissed from the practice. Effects had differential magnitudes and directions of effect, depending upon radiograph type. Conclusions. Practice characteristics were significantly associated with patient-specific receipt of services. These effects were independent of patient-specific disease level and patient-specific sociodemographic characteristics, suggesting that practitioners do influence receipt of these diagnostic services. These findings are consistent with the conclusion that practitioners act in response to a mix of patients' interests, economic self-interests, and their own treatment preferences. © Health Research and Educational Trust.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Gilbert GH; Weems RA; Litaker MS; Shelton BJ
  • Start Page

  • 1915
  • End Page

  • 1937
  • Volume

  • 41
  • Issue

  • 5