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Dent Clin North Am. 2009 Jan;53(1):1-13, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.cden.2008.10.002.

Evidence-based curriculum reform: the Kentucky Experience.

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Department of Oral Health Practice, Division of Periodontology, University of Kentucky College of Dentistry, 800 Rose Street, Room M-122, Lexington, KY 40536-0297, USA.


Evidence-based health care seeks to base clinical practice and decision-making on best evidence, while allowing for modifications because of patient preferences and individual clinical situations. Dentistry has been slow to embrace this discipline, but this is changing. In the Graduate Periodontology Program (GPP) of the University of Kentucky, an evidence-based clinical curriculum was implemented in 2004. The tools of evidence-based health care (EBHC) were used to create evidence-based protocols to guide clinical decision-making by faculty and residents. The program was largely successful, although certain challenges were encountered. As a result of the positive experience with the GPP, the college is implementing a wider program in which evidence-based protocols will form the basis for all patient care and clinical education in the predoctoral clinics. A primary component of this is a computerized risk assessment tool that will aid in clinical decision-making. Surveys of alumni of the periodontal graduate program show that the EBHC program has been effective in changing practice patterns, and similar follow-up studies are planned to assess the effectiveness of the predoctoral EBHC program.

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