Original Article| Volume 130, ISSUE 2, e29-e37, August 2020

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Methodology for the development of a national Dental Practice-Based Research Network survey on dentist’s beliefs and behaviors concerning antibiotic prophylaxis


      Dentists are high prescribers of antibiotics for both treatment and prevention of infection, although there are few guidelines to aid clinicians. Given the worldwide concerns about unnecessary use of antibiotics, there is a need for a better understanding of dentists’ use of these drugs for antibiotic prophylaxis (AP) to prevent distant site infections (i.e., infective endocarditis and prosthetic joint infection).


      The aim of this study was to develop and implement an effective, self-reporting, cross-sectional, survey instrument that optimized the response rate and maximized reliability and validity for determining the beliefs and behaviors of a large and nationally representative group of generalist and specialist dentists concerning their use of AP.

      Study Design

      A 15-question survey (58 items) was developed in a structured process by a multidisciplinary team and configured for automated online dissemination to 3584 national Dental Practice-Based Research Network (DPBRN; hitherto referred to as “Network”) practitioners. The implementation phase consisted of 3 waves of greater than 1000 Network members. Additionally, 47 randomly selected dentists were surveyed twice to assess test–retest reliability.


      Of 3584 eligible Network members, 2169 (60.5%) completed the survey. The age and geographic distributions of responders was similar to those of dentists in the 2019 American Dental Association census. Furthermore, test–retest weighted kappa values for the survey were acceptable (median 0.56; interquartile range 0.42–0.64).


      We developed a highly structured survey with a high response rate and good reliability that will allow us to obtain unique data on dentists’ beliefs and practices regarding AP prescribing.
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