General dental practitioners' perceptions of, and attitudes towards, improving patient safety through a multidisciplinary approach to the prevention of medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (MRONJ): A qualitative study in the North East of England

A. Sturrock, P. M. Preshaw, C. Hayes, S. Wilkes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective To explore general dental practitioners’ (GDPs’) perceptions of, and attitudes towards, the risks of medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (MRONJ) and the current/potential multidisciplinary approach(es) to prevention of the condition.

Design Interpretivist methodology using a grounded theory approach and constant comparative analysis to undertake an iterative series of semistructured interviews. Ritchie and Spencer’s framework analysis facilitated the identification and prioritisation of salient themes.

Setting Primary care general dental practices in the North East of England.

Participants 15 GDPs.

Results GDPs are aware of the risk of MRONJ with commonly implicated medicines; however, they report limited collaboration between professional groups in person-centred avoidance of complications, which is a key requirement of the preventive advice recommended in extant literature. Four salient and inter-related themes emerged: (1) perception of knowledge; indicating the awareness of the risk, limited knowledge of implicated medications and experience of managing the condition; (2) risk; indicating the importance of accurate medication histories, the treatment of low risk patients in primary dental care, counselling of poorly informed patients, the fear of litigation and perceived low priority of oral health in the context of general health and well-being; (3) access and isolation; referring to access to general medical records, professional isolation and somewhat limited and challenging professional collaborative relationships; (4) interprofessional working; indicating oral health education of other professional groups, collaboration and communication, and a focus on preventive care.

Conclusions Patients continue to be at risk of developing MRONJ due to limited preventive interventions and relatively disparate contexts of multidisciplinary team healthcare. Effective collaboration, education and access to shared medical records could potentially improve patient safety and reduce the potential risk of developing MRONJ.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere029951
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ Open
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes

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