Barriers have been identified in the literature to the implementation of evidence-based practice in dentistry. A major concern is the lack of rigorous evidence for clinical practices. Little attention has been given to the lack of rigorous health services research. Evidence-based practice is more about effectiveness than efficacy and will influence the type of research that characterizes health services research (HSR) because it involves levels of data below that of the random controlled trials, involves questions about the appropriateness of care, and involves examining the structure, process, and outcomes of care. The need for HSR can be seen by examining the appropriateness of dental care and health-related quality of life outcomes. The conclusion to be drawn is that evidence-based dentistry needs HSR if it is to fulfill the promise currently held for it in the profession.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.