Date of Completion
Dr. Helen Swede, Dr. Angela Bermudez-Millan, Dr. Sharon Gordon
Field of Study
Master of Public Health
BACKGROUND: In response to the growing epidemic of prediabetes and diabetes (type 2), the State of Connecticut passed Public Act 19-72 “An Act Concerning Dental Practitioners” effective July 1, 2019 allowing licensed dentists to administer an in-office blood screening test to consenting patients identified as having an increased risk for diabetes. The intent of this law is to expand the venues to screen, identify and inform those at-risk for disease.
METHODS: An anonymous online cross-sectional pilot study was conducted utilizing membership of major statewide dental societies to recruit licensed practicing dentists in the state of Connecticut. Participants completed a 17-item survey that assessed knowledge of the law and the Prediabetes Risk Test, perceptions pertaining to prediabetes and willingness to administer the in-office blood test.
RESULTS: Participants were 23 licensed dentists in Connecticut. The majority are males (n=16, 69.6%) with 20 years plus of experience specializing in a private or group General Dentistry practice. Awareness of the law is low (22%), yet the majority agree it is important to collaborate with primary care providers to prevent disease (90%), screen patients identified at-risk for prediabetes (85%) and inform patients of a prediabetic condition (85%).
CONCLUSION: Lack of awareness of the new law supports the need for increased communication and educational efforts to the dental community. Additional research is recommended to explore factors related to incorporating testing in order to better frame messaging to this population and ensure adoption of a new point of care to combat the diabetes epidemic.
Carew, Kirsten S., "Examining Opportunity in the Dental Community to Identify Prediabetes" (2020). Master's Theses. 1469.
Dr. Helen Swede