On the reporting of dental health, time for dental care, and the treatment panorama : Methodological studies of measuring and analysing dental care outcomes within a Swedish Public Dental Service organization

Abstract: The thesis included five methodological studies and one caries epidemiological investigation, the general aim being to study how to measure and report dental health, time for dental care, treatment panorama, and dental care outcomes, within a Public Dental Service organization. The specific aims were to monitor dental clinic activities using a time study method, to apply time study results of a dental health-related patient group system for the 3-19 year age groups, and to compare time study results with corresponding results from computerized systems used for reporting dental care. Other specific aims were to compare longitudinal caries index data results between cohort and cross-sectional samples, to analyse caries index for extreme caries groups among adolescents leaving organized dental care, and — using time series methods — to analyse dental health development of the 15-19 year age groups. Results from the time studies portrayed the dental clinic as a working unit, showed that reported values can represent dental care only for intervention procedures, and indicated that clinic patterns were not adapted to the health situation of the patient groups. Longitudinal cohort attempts gave different values from those of the cross-sectional year classes, which should be the primary focus when presenting caries index mean values in dental health reviews. Caries freegroups from 15 to 19 years of age seem to be stable in their caries development in about 60%-80% of cases; while the 20% groups with the highest index values accounted for about 80% of all approximal lesions. In times of major economic adjustment, dental health for adolescents in Göteborg was an example of sustainable dental health development. A model system for monitoring, analysing, and reporting dental health and dental care outcomes within a dental care-giving organization calls for several conditions, for example, a dental healthrelated patient group system, and a rationale for the choice of dental team models. These areas could be gathered into a system where contemporary socio-economic factors and dental research results interact with performed dental care, and also with different methods for reporting and evaluating dental health, dental care costs, and the demand for dental care competence.

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