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A qualitative study exploring strategies to improve the inter-professional management of diabetes and periodontitis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Susan BissettORCiD, Professor Philip Preshaw, Dr Justin Presseau, Professor Tim Rapley



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


© 2019Aims: To explore inter-professional communication and collaboration in guideline-concordant diabetes and periodontitis care. Methods: Qualitative design using iterations of workshops to identify ways to improve multidisciplinary working attended by staff from medical and dental primary care practices, and people with diabetes (n = 43). Workshops were semi-structured around a topic guide. Recruitment was via the UK Clinical Research Network, and a patient and public involvement group in the North of England. Results: Medical practice participants were unaware of the bidirectional evidence linking diabetes and periodontitis and stated that they had never received a referral from a dental professional in this context. The patient participants with diabetes reported never having been informed about the links between diabetes and periodontitis from either their family physician or dentist. Medical and dental practice participants gave negative accounts of inter-professional communication, with claims of inappropriate requests and defensive or non-responses that stymied future interaction. Indirect communication through the patient was suggested as an alternative to direct communication. Conclusions: Indirect referral, whereby the patient is signposted to a healthcare professional, was suggested by medical and dental professionals as a useful alternative to the traditional (and time consuming) letter or telephone call, particularly in the case of suspected diabetes or periodontitis.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bissett SM, Preshaw PM, Presseau J, Rapley T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Primary Care Diabetes

Year: 2020

Volume: 14

Issue: 2

Pages: 126-132

Print publication date: 01/04/2020

Online publication date: 09/12/2019

Acceptance date: 20/11/2019

Date deposited: 09/01/2020

ISSN (print): 1751-9918

ISSN (electronic): 1878-0210

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.pcd.2019.11.010


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