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Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2011 Sep;140(3):309-16.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2010.05.023.

Attitudes, awareness, and barriers toward evidence-based practice in orthodontics.

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Department of Orthodontics, Center for Advanced Dental Education, Saint Louis University, St Louis, MO, USA.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the attitudes, awareness, and barriers toward evidence-based practice.


A survey consisting of 35 questions pertaining to the use of scientific evidence in orthodontics was sent to 4771 members of the American Association of Orthodontists in the United States. Each respondent's age, attainment of a master's degree, and whether he or she was currently involved with teaching were ascertained. To minimize bias, the survey questions were phrased as an examination of the use of scientific literature in orthodontics.


A total of 1517 surveys were received (response rate, 32%). Most respondents had positive attitudes toward, but a poor understanding of, evidence-based practice. The major barrier identified was ambiguous and conflicting research. Younger orthodontists were more aware, had a greater understanding, and perceived more barriers than did older orthodontists. Orthodontists involved in teaching were more aware, had a greater understanding, and reported fewer barriers than those not involved with teaching. Those with master's degrees had a greater understanding of evidence-based practice than those without degrees.


Educational initiatives are needed to increase the understanding and use of evidence-based practice in orthodontics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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