Journal article

Evidence-based dentistry: A model for clinical practice

Faggion Jr. C, Tu Y ...see all

JOURNAL OF DENTAL EDUCATION, vol. 71, issue 6 (2007) pp. 825-831

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Making decisions in dentistry should be based on the best evidence
available. The objective of this study was to demonstrate a practical
procedure and model that clinicians can use to apply the results of
well-conducted studies to patient care by critically appraising the
evidence with checklists and letter grade scales. To demonstrate
application of this model for critically appraising the quality of
research evidence, a hypothetical case involving an adult male with
chronic periodontitis is used as an example. To determine the best
clinical approach for this patient, a four-step, evidence-based model is
demonstrated, consisting of the following: definition of a research
question using the PICO format, search and selection of relevant
literature, critical appraisal of identified research reports using
checklists, and the application of evidence. In this model, the quality
of research evidence was assessed quantitatively based on different
levels of quality that are assigned letter grades of A, B, and C by
evaluating the studies against the QUOROM (Quality of Reporting
Meta-Analyses) and CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials)
checklists in a tabular format. For this hypothetical periodontics case,
application of the model identified the best available evidence for
clinical decision making, i.e., one randomized controlled trial and one
systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Both studies showed
similar answers for the research question. The use of a letter grade
scale allowed an objective analysis of the quality of evidence. A
checklist-driven model that assesses and applies evidence to dental
practice may substantially improve dentists' decision making skill.

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  • Clovis M Faggion Jr.

  • Yu-Kang Tu

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