Forum Implantologicum 12 (2016), No. 1 (26.04.2016)
Patient-Centered Outcomes in Dental Medicine: A General Perspective
Inglehart, Marita R. / Sheridan, Rachel / Giannobile, William V.
Until the turn of the century, oral health had been primarily assessed with objective indicators of caries such as the number of decayed, filled or missing teeth due to caries or with periodontal health indicators such as probing pocket depth or bone loss. Similarly, outcomes of dental treatment were primarily determined by considering clinical parameters. Following a powerful movement in medicine, clinicians and researchers in the oral health arena have begun to realize the value of considering patient-centered outcomes (PCO) and subjective indicators of oral health. The objectives of this general introduction to the relevance of PCOs in dental medicine are (a) to describe their importance for dental clinicians, researchers, and educators; (b) to specifically consider their role over the course of a patient's treatment from the time of diagnosis and treatment decision-making to the actual treatment phase and the post-treatment period; and (c) to discuss the relevance of PCOs to future research and clinical practice. PCOs such as patients' oral health-related quality of life and treatment satisfaction complement clinicians' understanding of patients' oral healthrelated experiences and treatment outcomes and thus can support their efforts to provide the best care possible. PCOs offer researchers an opportunity to comprehensively assess outcomes in basic science, translational, clinical, and behavioral research. Assuring that dental educators prepare future clinicians and researchers to understand the value of PCOs and to embrace their importance is therefore crucial. One ultimate benefit of PCOs is their value when communicating oral health-related concerns inter-professionally and to persons outside of the health professions.
Keywords: Patient-centered outcomes, patient-reported outcomes, oral health-related quality of life, treatment satisfaction