A Survey of Expanded Duties Usage in Indiana
Journal of Dental Hygiene
The information presented in this pilot study was obtained as part of a 1990 survey of Indiana dentists. This portion of the study determined the number and types of expanded duties delegated to dental hygienists and the relationship of this information to their employer's year of graduation.
A 10% random sample of Indiana dentists was sent a questionnaire that asked each practitioner's specialty and year of graduation from dental school. In addition, the number of dental hygienists and assistants employed in the practice and the frequency of selected expanded function procedures they performed were determined. Statistical treatment of the survey data was accomplished by frequency tabulations on procedures delegated; principal component analysis applied to a select number of measures; and Student's t-test to variables related to office environment (total years experience, total staff, percentage employing dental hygienists, percentage employing full-time dental hygienists, number of procedures employed, and graduation year of dentist). The level of significance selected for the t-test analysis was .05.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS:
Seventy-four questionnaires were returned out of 231 mailed (32% response rate). Of the expanded functions listed on the survey, the procedures most widely delegated to dental hygienists were amalgam polishing and sealant placement. The placement of resin and amalgam restorations was rarely performed by dental hygienists. Based on a principal component analysis, two office environments were defined. Type A offices had dentists with a mean graduation date of 1965.9. Type B offices had dentists with a mean graduation date of 1977.8, significantly larger staff sizes, and employed a higher percentage of full-time dental hygienists. Moreover, dental hygienists employed in Type B offices also performed a greater number of expanded function procedures than did dental hygienists in Type A offices.
Mary D. Cooper (1993).
A Survey of Expanded Duties Usage in Indiana. Journal of Dental Hygiene.67 (5), 249-256.