Date of Award

Fall 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene

Committee Director

Joyce Flores

Committee Member

Margaret Lemaster

Committee Member

Fouad Salama

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.D46 A46 2014


Evidence -based decision making enables oral health professionals to make clinical practice decisions by utilizing the best available and most current scientific evidence. In combination with patients' values and circumstances, oral health professionals' experience and judgment are equally considered with scientific evidence in evidence-based decision making. The purpose of this study was to explore the knowledge and attitudes of evidence-based practice (EBP) among oral health professionals in Saudi Arabia and to determine the obstacles and barriers to implementation. Using a descriptive survey design, classrooms and clinics of 258 oral healthcare professionals were randomly selected from King Saud University, College of Dentistry and King Saud University, College of Applied Medical Sciences. The questionnaires were distributed by hand to the female participants from one of the female co-investigators. For male schools, class leaders of each classroom handed out the questionnaires to their academicians and classmates. Data from the questionnaires was analyzed using the following: frequency, medians, percentile, Spearman Rank Order Correlations, and Mann-Whitney U test. More than 40% of the participants reported they had "no idea" what meta-analysis, p-value, relative risk, odds ratio, publication bias, and confidence interval meant when surveyed. Over 30% of the participants were able to identify "patients' preferences or values" as one of the three components included in the evidence-based decision making (EBDM) process. Similarly, participants selected "systematic review" as the type of scientific literature providing the strongest evidence for EBDM. More than 70% of the participants reported interest towards integrating EBP in the curriculum of all dental and dental hygiene programs. Barriers to implementing EBP included very expensive academic journals, the lack of information exchange between practitioners and academics, and the lack of up-to-date evidence for many devices and products. The EBP concepts and approach were not fully understood by the majority of oral health professionals in Saudi Arabia; however, the oral health professionals and students surveyed demonstrated a welcoming attitude aimed at EBP. Emphasis on enhancing the awareness of EBP concepts and approach, its significance, and process among Saudi Arabian oral health professionals and students is needed to improve quality oral health care.


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