Author(s): Debate RD, Tedesco LA
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Abstract The incidence of eating disorders has increased substantially over the last forty years. Primary care physicians and dentists share a parallel challenge for secondary prevention of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. The dentist, in particular, has a uniquely important and valuable role with respect to assessment of oral and physical manifestations, patient communication, referral, case management, and restorative care. Despite this crucial role, few dentists are engaged in eating disorder-specific secondary prevention. The purpose of this study was to explore beliefs, attitudes, and experiences of general dentists regarding eating disorder-specific secondary prevention behaviors using focus group methodology. Three ninety-minute focus groups were conducted with twenty-one general dentists (seventeen male, four female) recruited from the 2004 Academy of General Dentistry Leadership Conference. Data from the focus groups were analyzed to identify two over-arching themes and associated subthemes with regard to supports and barriers to eating disorder-specific secondary prevention practices. Analysis of data revealed that training, network, and dental professional contingencies emerged as places of influence for increasing capacity among dentists with regard to secondary prevention of eating disorders. This exploratory assessment identifies leverage points where strategic interventions including curriculum development, policies, and practices can be developed to support and sustain secondary preventive clinical behaviors among dentists.
This article was published in J Dent Educ
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals