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Barriers and enablers to skill-mix in the oral health workforce: a systematic review

Wilson, Annika, Hoang, Ha ORCID: 0000-0001-5116-9947 and Barnett, T ORCID: 0000-0002-1376-6414 2021 , 'Barriers and enablers to skill-mix in the oral health workforce: a systematic review' , Community Dental Health, vol. 38 , 1–11 , doi: 10.1922/CDH_00028-2019Wilson11.

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Introduction: In dentistry, the term “skill-mix” is used to describe the combinations of dentists and dental care professionals in deliveringactivities that are commonly established by their level of education, training and scope of practice. However, the literature has indicatedan under-utilisation of skill-mix in the oral health care team. Further work is required to understand the poor uptake of skill-mix in oralhealth care and what could be done to address this issue.Objective: To identify and synthesise the available evidence on the barriersand enablers to skill-mix in the oral health workforce using a macro-, meso- and micro-level framework.Materials and methods: Thedatabases MEDLINE, CINAHL and Scopus between January 2010 to April 2020 were searched. Primary research studies published inEnglish were included. Results: Thirty-two articles were included. Key barriers and enablers at each level of analysis were identified.Macro-level barriers and enablers included structural, regulatory and policy conditions and dental health care needs of populations. Mesolevel barriers and enablers defined the parameters of service delivery and included workplace characteristics, referral systems and patterns,and workplace productivity and efficiency. Micro-level barriers and enablers pertained to the perceptions, attitudes, and social acceptabilityof stakeholders that affected the delivery of services.Conclusion: Understanding the barriers and enablers from a multi-level frameworkrequires further high-quality research to fully appreciate its importance in addressing health care needs within populations and increasegeneralisability to oral health settings.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Wilson, Annika and Hoang, Ha and Barnett, T
Keywords: health workforce, dental health services, systematic review
Journal or Publication Title: Community Dental Health
Publisher: F D I World Dental Press Ltd
ISSN: 0265-539X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1922/CDH_00028-2019Wilson11
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Copyright BASCD 2021

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