The conduct of practice-based research in community clinics compared to private practices: similarities, differences, and challenges.

Academic Article


  • Practice-based research should be performed in all practice settings if the results are to be applied to all settings. However, some practice settings, such as community clinics, have unique features that may make the conduct of such research more challenging. The purpose of this article is to describe and compare the similarities and unique challenges related to conducting research in community clinics compared to private practices within the Northwest Practice-Based REsearch Collaborative in Evidence-Based DENTistry (PRECEDENT) network. Information was obtained from meetings with general dentists, a survey of general dentists (N = 253), and a clinical examination and record review of a systemic random sample of patients visiting community clinics and private practices. (N = 1903)-all part of a dental practice-based research network. The processes of conducting research, the dentist and patient sociodemographic characteristics, the prevalence of oral diseases, and the dental treatments received in community clinics and private practices were compared. Both community clinics and private practices have the clinical treatment of the patients as their priority and have time constraints on research. The processes of research training, obtaining informed consent, and collecting, transmitting, and securely maintaining research data are also similar. The patient populations and treatment needs differ substantially between community clinics and private practices, with a higher prevalence of dental caries and higher restorative treatment needs in the community clinic patients. The process of study participant selection and follow-up for research and the dentist and staff work arrangements also vary between the two practice settings. Although community clinic patients and their dental healthcare providers have different research needs and challenges than their counterparts in private practice, practice-based research can be successfully.
  • Author List

  • Gillette J; Cunha-Cruz J; Gilbert A; Speed-McIntyre P; Zhou L; DeRouen T
  • Start Page

  • 226
  • Volume

  • 31
  • Issue

  • 3