The evaluation of a continuing professional development package for primary care dentists designed to reduce stress, build resilience and improve clinical decision-making

Chapman, Helen and Chipchase, Susan and Bretherton, Roger (2017) The evaluation of a continuing professional development package for primary care dentists designed to reduce stress, build resilience and improve clinical decision-making. British Dental Journal, 223 (4). pp. 261-271. ISSN 0007-0610

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Abstract

Introduction: Stress and burnout are widely accepted as a problem for primary care dental practitioners. Previous programmes to address this issue have met with some success. Burnout is associated with poor coping skills and emotion regulation, and increased rates of clinical errors. Anxiety is associated with poor decision-making and is thought to be associated with poor clinical decision-making. Attempts to improve decision-making use increasing meta-awareness and review of thinking processes. Bibliotherapy is an effective method of delivering cognitive behavioural therapy as self-help or guided self-help (with some therapist input) formats.
Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of a specially designed CPD package which was designed to improve coping skills, build resilience and reduce the impact of anxiety on dentists’ clinical decision-making.
Design: A multi-centred quasi-experiment
Setting: Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire (England) 2014
Materials and methods: Thirty-five volunteer primary care dentists used two versions (self-help [SH] and guided self-help [GSH], which included a 3 hour workshop) of a specially written cognitive-behavioural-therapy bibliotherapy programme designed to improve well-being and decision-making.
Main Outcome Measures: The main outcome measures were dentists’ burnout, depression, anxiety, stress and decision-making style. Data were also collected on use and evaluation of the programme.
Results: At 6 weeks there was a clinically and statistically significant reduction in depression, anxiety and stress levels, a statistically significant reduction in burnout (emotional exhaustion) and hypervigilant decision-making and an increase in personal achievement (burnout). The improvements in depression, stress, emotional exhaustion and hypervigilant decision-making were maintained at 6 months. Dentists were overwhelmingly positive in their evaluation of the project and used most of its contents.
Conclusion: With the caveat of small numbers and the lack of a no-treatment control, this project demonstrated that a self-help package can be highly acceptable to dentists and, in the short-to-medium term, improve dentists’ well-being and decision-making with implications for patient safety.

Keywords:Dentistry, Emotion, Stress, CBT, Self-help
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
A Medicine and Dentistry > A900 Others in Medicine and Dentistry
C Biological Sciences > C841 Health Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:28893
Deposited On:27 Sep 2017 11:16

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