BMC Oral Health. 2023 Oct 19;23(1):767. Free PMC article
Background: Considered the most prevalent noncommunicable disease in childhood, dental caries is both an individual and a collective burden. While international guidelines highlight prevention as a major strategy for caries management in children, health professionals still struggle to implement prevention into their clinical practice. Further research is needed to understand the gap between the theoretical significance of dental prevention and its lack of implementation in the clinical setting. This systematic review aims to identify and classify factors perceived by health professionals to be barriers or facilitators to caries prevention in children.
Method: A systematic literature search was conducted in three electronic databases (Medline, Web of Science and Cairn). Two researchers independently screened titles, abstracts and texts. To be selected, studies had to focus on barriers or facilitators to caries prevention in children and include health professionals as study participants. Qualitative and quantitative studies were selected. The factors influencing caries prevention in children were sorted into 3 main categories (clinician-related factors, patient-related factors, and organizational-related factors) and then classified according to the 14 domains of the theoretical domains framework (TDF).
Results: A total of 1771 references were found by combining manual and database searches. Among them, 26 studies met the inclusion criteria, of which half were qualitative and half were quantitative studies. Dentists (n = 12), pediatricians (n = 11), nurses (n = 9), and physicians (n = 5) were the most frequently interviewed health professionals in our analysis. Barriers and facilitators to caries prevention in children were categorized into 12 TDF domains. The most frequently reported domains were Environmental Context and Resources, Knowledge and Professional Role and Identity.
Conclusion: This systematic review found that a wide range of factors influence caries prevention in children. Our analysis showed that barriers to pediatric oral health promotion affect all stages of the health care system. By highlighting the incompatibility between the health care system's organization and the implementation of caries prevention, this study aims to help researchers and policy-makers design new interventions to improve children's access to caries prevention.
Trial registration: PROSPERO CRD42022304545.
Keywords: Attitude of health personnel; Barriers; Behavior change; Children; Dental caries; Facilitators; Health promotion; Primary care; Systematic review.
PMID: 37853400 PMCID: PMC10585780 DOI: 10.1186/s12903-023-03458-1