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100 Yrs of Dental Hygiene Research: Progress & Possibilities
100 Yrs of Dental Hygiene Research: Progress & Possibilities

Full Title: 100 Years of Dental Hygiene Research: Progress and possibilities

Authors: Jennifer A. Pieren, RDH, MS, BSAS, FADHA, Rebecca S. Wilder, BSDH, MS, FADHA, ICF-ACC, Ann Eshenaur Spolarich, RDH, PhD, FSCDH

JDH Issue: October 2023

Program Track: Research

Abstract: During the last century, the role of dental hygienists as leaders in the recognition, prevention, and treatment of oral diseases has grown, reflecting the ever-evolving knowledge base of the profession. The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) has contributed to and supported research that has formulated the scientific basis for the profession to inform education and practice. Progress has been made across multiple priority areas identified on the National Dental Hygiene Research Agenda, including educational research examining the impact of curriculum models on teaching and learning; health services research projects documenting workforce issues and cost-effectiveness of practice models; and public health initiatives expanding access to care to provide oral health care services for diverse patient populations. The Journal of Dental Hygiene, established in 1927, has played a significant role in disseminating scientific evidence to the global dental hygiene and professional communities. Collaborative efforts both within dental hygiene and externally with interprofessional partners and key stakeholders have positively contributed towards building the research infrastructure to support the profession. The number of dental hygienists who are actively engaged in research has increased, as has the value for research as part of the research culture. Focused research priorities and training efforts have encouraged collaborations across the globe to conduct and promote the science supporting dental hygiene education and practice. Development, testing and validation of theoretical frameworks is essential to drive all professional activities. Building a community of scholars who will continue to define the dental hygiene discipline through scholarship is critical to promote a scholarly identity for the profession.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the progress that has been made toward advancing research in the dental hygiene discipline.
  • List and describe the essential and interrelated elements of a research infrastructure used in the health professions.
  • Explain the significance of theory and theory development for the dental hygiene profession.
  • Discuss the importance of scholarly identity.
  • Describe the role played by the American Dental Hygienists' Association in advancing and fostering research within the dental hygiene profession.
  • Identify proposed recommendations for priorities for updates to the ADHA National Dental Hygiene Research Agenda.

CE Credit Hours: 2.0

The American Dental Hygienists' Association is designated as an approved provider by the American Academy of Dental Hygiene, Inc. #AADHADH (Jan. 1, 2023–Dec. 31, 2023). Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial Board of Dentistry. Licensee should maintain this document in the event of an audit.

The American Dental Hygienists’ Association is an approved provider of dental continuing education as recognized by the Dental Board of California, Provider #5238.

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