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Integration of oral health into primary care: a scoping review protocol

18 Oct 2016

Introduction

Integrated care has been introduced as a means of improving health outcomes and access to care, and reducing the cost of healthcare. Despite its importance, the integration of oral health into primary care is still an emerging healthcare pathway. This scoping review protocol has been developed and funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to provide an evidence-based synthesis on a primary oral healthcare approach and its effectiveness in improving oral health outcomes.

Methods and analysis

The 6-stage framework developed by Levac et al underpins this scoping review. We will identify relevant existing theories, programmes and original research through a comprehensive and systematic search of electronic databases such as OVID (MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane databases), NCBI (PubMed), EBSCOhost (CINAHL), ProQuest, Databases in Public Health, Databases of the National Institutes of Health (health management and health technology) and relevant organisational websites and other sources of grey literature. All types of studies from 1978 to May 2016 in the French and English languages will be included. Using the Rainbow conceptual model of integrative primary care, a qualitative descriptive approach and thematic analysis will be used to synthesise the literature. Implementing novel healthcare models necessitates identifying barriers, sharing knowledge and delivering information. The integration of oral healthcare into primary care is an approach that promotes breaking the boundaries separating oral healthcare professionals and primary care. It creates opportunities for the dental workforce to become more involved in community-based practice and to assume shared responsibility with healthcare professionals to address the unmet oral health needs of those experiencing vulnerability and marginalisation.

Ethics and dissemination

The scoping study has received approval from the Université de Montréal's Institutional Review Board (#14–097-CERES-D). The findings will be disseminated through publications and presentations in provincial, national and international research symposiums and professional meetings.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open