019 – Dentists detecting diabetes: Improving diabetes outcomes by screening for undiagnosed diabetes

  • Chief Investigator A: Prof Rodrigo Mariño
  • Chief Investigator B: Prof Mike Morgan
  • Chief Investigator C: A/Prof John Furler
  • Chief Investigator D: Prof Ivan Darby
  • Chief Investigator E: Prof Meredith Temple-Smith
  • Chief Investigator F: Mr Geoff Adams
  • Chief Investigator G: Dr Arthur Hsueh
  • Associate Investigator: Dr Andre Priede
  • Research Collaborators: Dr Sue Cartwright, Dr Alagesan Chinnasamy, Dr Phyllis Min-Yu Lau, Dr Jennifer O’Connor, A/Prof Julie Satur, Ms Vishruthi Siva

About

Diabetes is the fastest-growing chronic condition in Australia. The starting point for living well with diabetes is early diagnosis. Approximately, one in two adults globally with type 2 diabetes are likely to be undiagnosed. Several recent studies have demonstrated the utility, potential efficacy and cost-effectiveness of screening patients for medical conditions in the dental setting.

To effectively promote chairside medical screening by dentists, one of the necessary elements is an understanding of their attitudes towards, acceptance and perceived barriers to, screening for diabetes. As such, the purpose of this study is to gain an understanding of dentist knowledge, attitude and practices towards treating patient with diabetes and to explore screening for type 2 diabetes in dental setting using the diabetic risk calculator (AUSDRISK). The second objective is to evaluate the overall economic justification of screening for diabetes and prediabetes using AUSDRISK among high-risk individuals in the dental setting.

Aims

  • To describe the knowledge, attitudes and practices of dentists around diabetes identification, management and patient referral
  • To develop and test a formal protocol and clinical guideline for dentists to identify patients with suspected undiagnosed pre-diabetes/diabetes, which can be readily integrated within the scope of daily practice
  • To evaluate the overall economic justification of screening for diabetes and prediabetes using AUSDRISK among high-risk individuals in the dental setting

Expected outcomes

It is anticipated the project will:

  • Demonstrate the utility, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness of screening patients for medical conditions in the dental setting
  • Validate a formal protocol and clinical guideline for dentists to identify patients with suspected undiagnosed pre-diabetes/diabetes, which can be readily integrated within the scope of daily practice
  • Enhance referral pathways between dentists and general medical practitioners for better diabetes prevention, diagnosis and management