Knowledge Diffusion in Dentistry

PI: Julia Melkers
Co-PI’s: Diana Hicks and Kimberley Isett (UDel)

The transfer of research-based knowledge brings new knowledge and evidence to practice in multiple settings. For clinical professions, new knowledge can have immediate impact on clinical care. Yet, in the under-studied profession of dentistry, little is known about how research results diffuse across the profession, and how clinicians assess evidence-based sources. This study characterized and examined the structure, content, and pathways of clinical information in the dental information ecosystem, including how clinicians form information networks to access information that addresses clinical uncertainties. Given newly emerging products relevant to oral health, the project also gave attention to disruptive events that impact knowledge and information diffusion through a focus on alternative nicotine products (ANPs). The study involved a national survey of clinical dentists and hygienists, web-scraping and related text analysis, and a series of focus groups.   

Funding: NIH PBRN (National Dental Practice-Based Research Network) 

Click here to go to the PBRN site and project summary. 

* = student author

Rosenblum*, Simone, Kimberley R. Isett, Julia Melkers, Ellen Funkhouser, Diana Hicks, Gregg H. Gilbert, Michael J. Melkers, Deborah McEdward, Meredith Buchberg-Trejo, and National Dental PBRN Collaborative Group. “The association between professional stratification and use of online sources: Evidence from the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network.” Journal of Information Science 47, no. 3 (2021): 373-386.

Burgette, Jacqueline M., Kimberley R. Isett, Simone Rosenblum*, Ameet Doshi*, Julia Melkers, and National Dental PBRN Collaborative Group. “Association between predoctoral evidence‐based practice training and later use of peer‐reviewed journals: National dental PBRN.” Journal of Dental Education (2021).

Melkers, Julia, Diana Hicks, Kimberley R. Isett, Dorota T. Kopycka-Kedzierawski, Gregg H. Gilbert, Simone Rosenblum*, Vanessa Burton, Rahma Mungia, Michael J. Melkers, and George Ford. “Preferences for peer-reviewed versus other publication sources: a survey of general dentists in the National Dental PBRN.” Implementation Science 14, no. 1 (2019): 1-16.

Hicks, Diana, Julia Melkers, and Kimberley R. Isett. “A characterization of professional media and its links to research.” Scientometrics 119, no. 2 (2019): 827-843.

Hicks, Diana, Michael Melkers, Julie Barna, Kimberley R. Isett, and Gregg H. Gilbert. “Comparison of the accuracy of CBCT effective radiation dose information in peer-reviewed journals and dental media.” General dentistry 67, no. 3 (2019): 38.

Isett, Kimberley R., Simone Rosenblum*, Julie Ann Barna, Diana Hicks, Gregg H. Gilbert, and Julia Melkers. “Missed opportunities for detecting alternative nicotine product use in youth: data from the National Dental Practice–Based Research Network.” Journal of Adolescent Health 63, no. 5 (2018): 587-593.

Robinson-García, Nicolás, Rodrigo Costas, Kimberley Isett, Julia Melkers, and Diana Hicks. “The unbearable emptiness of tweeting—About journal articles.” PloS one 12, no. 8 (2017): e0183551.

Hicks, Diana, Kimberley R. Isett, and Julia Melkers. “Evolving dental media: implications for evidence based dentistry.” Int J Evidence-Based Pract Dent Hyg 3 (2017): 78-84.

Melkers, Julia, Diana Hicks, Simone Rosenblum, Kimberley R. Isett, and Jacqueline Elliott*. “Dental blogs, podcasts, and associated social media: descriptive mapping and analysis.” Journal of medical Internet research 19, no. 7 (2017): e269.