5 Recommendations for research

5 Recommendations for research

The Public Health Advisory Committee (PHAC) recommends that the following research questions should be addressed. It notes that 'effectiveness' in this context relates not only to the size of the effect, but also to duration of effect and cost effectiveness. It also takes into account any harmful or negative side effects.

An important focus of oral health research should be to identify differences in effectiveness among various groups, based on characteristics such as socioeconomic status, age, gender and ethnicity in a range of settings (such as schools or workplaces). It should include studies with sufficient follow-up to consider the long term impact of poor oral health.

Research should include patient-reported outcome measures to assess health and quality of life outcomes as well as clinical and non-clinical outcomes. Examples of clinical outcomes should include dental caries, periodontal health, prevalence of oral cancer and pre-cancer, and non-dental clinical outcomes such as the prevalence of pneumonia and malnutrition in the elderly.

Non-clinical outcomes should include the use of non-dental health and social care services by children and adults, such as numbers admitted to hospital to have teeth taken out, and the effect on independent living such as admissions to care homes, work related effects including sickness absence.

5.1 What community-based interventions are effective and cost effective in improving oral health and reducing oral health inequalities among groups of adults at high risk of poor oral health?

5.2 What community-based interventions are effective and cost effective in improving oral health and reducing oral health inequalities among groups of children at high risk of poor oral health?

5.3 What community-based interventions are effective and cost effective at improving the uptake of, and reducing inequalities in the use of, dental services by groups of adults and children at high risk of poor oral health?

5.4 How can healthy habits that promote oral health be supported and encouraged in families with children at high risk of poor oral health?

5.5 What community-based interventions are effective and cost effective in improving dietary habits affecting the oral health of children and adults, and in particular those at high risk of poor oral health?

5.6 What is the relative effectiveness and cost effectiveness of the different components of multi-component, community-based oral health improvement programmes?

5.7 How cost effective are fluoride varnish programmes and tooth-brushing schemes?

More detail identified during development of this guideline is provided in Gaps in the evidence.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)