Home > Completed Projects > Archived Completed Projects > Dental Outreach Research

Feasibility of Conducting Clinical Research in Dental Outreach


The majority of dental healthcare in Scotland is conducted in the primary care setting. However, most clinical dental research takes place in the secondary care setting and the results may not be transferable to primary dental care. There is a need for more research to be carried out in primary care to help establish a more robust evidence base for oral healthcare in Scotland.

This PhD project explored the feasibility of conducting clinical research in the primary care outreach setting. Specific objectives were to:

  • explore existing views of management stakeholders, outreach staff and final year dental students
  • deliver a clinical research study in dental outreach clinics
  • explore views of outreach patients, staff and dental students after their direct involvement with delivery of the clinical study (chapter 6)

A cluster randomised controlled trial design was used for the clinical research study which aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of oral health instruction enhanced by psychological theory on the gingival health of dental outreach patients. Outcomes were measured by plaque scores, marginal probing and self-reported patient behaviours at three and six months post intervention. The study also evaluated the acceptability of research participation among dental outreach patients.

Current Status


PhD Student

Kerry Richardson, BDS, MFDS, RCS Edinburgh, Dundee Dental Hospital and School


Professor Jan Clarkson, University of Dundee, NHS Education for Scotland; Dr Andrew Hall, University of Dundee.


Dr Linda Young, SDPBRN, NHS Education for Scotland.