Person-centred and Population Oral Health Research Group
This site highlights the work of a unique interdisciplinary team of people reaching across clinical specialities and social sciences with a common interest in understanding and improving oral health and well-being for both individuals and populations. The team includes academics and researchers in orthodontics, health psychology, ethics, paediatric dentistry, sociology, dental public health and social policy. Our unique strengths enable us to produce innovative and world-class theoretical and methodological-oriented research that makes significant contributions to academic debates across disciplines as well as clinical practice. Our person-centred approach to oral health and dental research is exciting and groundbreaking both nationally and internationally.
Professor Barry Gibson
Summary and principal aims
The aim of the group is to plan, conduct and implement high quality research in oral health utilising the theories and empirical traditions of Dental Public Health, Sociology and Psychology with the purpose of improving the oral health of individuals and populations.
Our novel and interdisciplinary research bridges the gap between the theoretical and methodological traditions of the social sciences and clinical specialities to highlight and advance a person-centred approach in the field of dentistry. The group’s expertise is in a number of areas working across a number of levels; individual, group, society and health services; encompassing a range of methodologies, from traditional quantitative approaches (epidemiology, psychometrics) to more innovative qualitative paradigms (systems theory, narrative).
Click on the headings below to visit the individual pages:
See also :
Patient-reported oral health measures
Dentine Hypersensitivity Experience Questionnaire
Funded by: Glaxosmithkline
The DHEQ was developed by a team of researchers, including Sarah Baker, Barry Gibson and Peter Robinson at the School of Clinical Dentistry with funding from Glaxosmithkline. It has been widely used since 2010 in clinical trials, research projects and population surveys. There are currently two versions; the DHEQ consisting of 34-items which assess functional restrictions, social impacts, coping adaptations, emotional impacts, and identity impacts as a result of dentine hypersensitivity. The second version which is available is the DHEQ-15 short form.
Publications relating to the DHEQ and DHEQ-15 include:
Does orthodontic treatment improve oral health-related quality of life?
Investigators: Philip Benson, Hanieh Javidi, Susan Cunningham (UCL Eastman Dental Institute), Colin Wallis and Neil Patel (specialist orthodontic practice), Jayne Harrison (Liverpool University Dental Hospital and School of Dentistry), Karen Juggins (University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) NHS Trust), Zoe Marshman, Sarah Baker.
Organisations involved: University of Sheffield, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and collaborations outlined above.
Funding source: Faculty of Dental Surgeons Royal College of Surgeons of England-British Orthodontic Society training fellowship application (HJ) deadline for submission 27 January 2017
There is evidence that the appearance of the teeth can adversely affect the social and emotional well-being of young people, particularly during adolescence. We propose to carry out a study following a group of young people, aged 11 to 16 years, who are having braces in five centres (one busy specialist orthodontic practice, one busy district general hospital orthodontic department and three dental teaching hospital orthodontic departments). The objective is to see how treatment affects OHQoL. Data on OHQoL, clinical changes, self-esteem and socio-economic status (based on home postcode) will be collected at the start of treatment and at the first retainer review, 3 to 6 months after the brace has been removed. We also propose to follow participants up for a year after their braces have been removed. In addition to looking at changes in OHQoL, we will investigate the relationships between clinical status and other factors according to two models of health.
Development of an orthodontic appliance (brace) impact questionnaire.
Investigators: Philip Benson, Sarah Bell, Amy Hyde, Zoe Marshman, Fiona Gilchrist, Jennifer Kettle.
Organisations involved: University of Sheffield, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Funding source: British Orthodontic Society Foundation grant application submitted 29 July 2016.
Incomplete orthodontic treatment represents a considerable waste of time and money to the young people, their parents, clinicians and the NHS. Investigating the impact of orthodontic appliances on young people might give some insight into why some young people cannot tolerate orthodontic appliances and give up part way through treatment. The aim of the study is to obtain the views of young people about how their orthodontic appliance affects their everyday life and incorporate these views into a new impact of orthodontic appliance questionnaire. We also plan to undertake some initial cross-sectional testing of the measure. The design will be a mixed-methods approach, involving firstly qualitative interviews with young people aged 11 to 17 years, to identify items to include in the questionnaire. This will be followed by validation of the items and cross-sectional testing, using psychometric analyses of test-re-test reliability, internal consistency, interpretability and content, criterion and construct validity. Item reduction and analysis of differential item functioning will be achieved through Rasch analysis.
Resin-modified glass ionomer or composite for orthodontic bonding?
Investigators: Philip Benson, Declan Millett (Cork, Ireland), Fiona Dyer (Sheffield, UK), Anjli Patel (Crewe, UK), Stephen Cotter (Killarney, Ireland), Jonathan Alexander-Abt (Stevenage, UK).
Organisations involved: University of Sheffield, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and UCL Eastman Dental Institute and collaborators.
Funding source: Sheffield Hospitals Charitable Trust.
Demineralization during orthodontic treatment is a common clinical problem. A recent systematic review has shown little evidence that current methods of delivering fluoride are effective at reducing this problem. The design is a multi-centre randomised single blinded controlled clinical trial will be conducted with two parallel groups. Participants were treated by six specialist orthodontists in both hospitals and specialist orthodontic practices. The interventions were bonding all teeth in front of the first permanent molars with either a resin-modified glass ionomer cement (Fuji Ortho LC) or a light cured composite control (Transbond). The two main outcome measures are difference in demineralization of the anterior teeth before and after treatment assessed from photographs and the number of debonded brackets during treatment.
Benson PE, Parkin N, Dyer F, Millett DT, Furness S, Germain P. Fluorides for the prevention of early tooth decay (demineralised white lesions) during fixed brace treatment. Cochrane Database Syst. Rev. 2013; 12: CD003809. 10.1002/14651858.CD003809.pub3.
Academic and research staff
Please click on student's name to see their details and a brief description of the work they are engaged in:
Consultancy / Expertise
Given our unique position in the UK as the interdisciplinary team in person-centred research in dentistry, we can offer unrivalled in-depth research and consultancy services in relation to a wide range of oral health projects based on the latest research findings, methods and tools.
For further information, please contact:
Dr Sarah Baker (Research Group Leader)
Phone: +44 (0)114 271 7837
Collaborations and Links
Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth
Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth is an interdisciplinary research centre bringing together a wealth of expertise in health and the social sciences http://cscy.group.shef.ac.uk/index.htm
Leeds INCENTIVE: Improving the organisation and delivery of dental health care to patients - innovation in commissioning and delivery of primary dental care service delivery and organisation. This project seek to explore how to improve the structure of general dental services to become more focused on health instead of disease.
University of Lund
Collaborating with the Department of Philosophy At the University of Lund in Sweden on the development of the grounded theory method. This research involves clarifying the meaning and procedures at the heart of grounded theory. Supervising students and undertaking grounded theory studies. Coming in 2013 will be a series of workshops on grounded theory in Sweden and Sheffield.
NIHR HTA FiCTION Trial - Filling Children's Teeth: Indicated or Not?
The FiCTION trial aims to investigate the clinical and cost effectiveness of restoring caries in children's primary teeth. The FiCTION trial is being led from the University of Dundee in collaboration with the Universities of Sheffield, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, London and Newcastle and through recruitment of dental practices across the UK. http://research.ncl.ac.uk/fictiontrial/
British Psychological Society which is the representative body for psychology and psychologists in the UK http://www.bps.org.uk/
British Society of Paediatric Dentistry which is the representative body for paediatric dentists in the UK http://www.bspd.org.uk/
British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry which is the professional association for the science, philosophy and practice of promoting the oral health of populations and groups in society http://www.bascd.org
British Sociological Association which is the representative body for sociology and sociologists in the UK: http://www.britsoc.co.uk/
Call for Manuscripts: Frontiers in Public Health Journal
IADR members Judith Albino, Sarah Baker and Tamanna Tiwari are guest editors of an upcoming special issue of Frontiers in Public Health Journal themed “Reducing Oral Health Disparities: What Can We Learn From Social, Environmental and Cultural Factors?”.
This special issue will focus on the role of social, environmental and cultural factors in the development and progression of oral diseases, their role in oral health disparities and interventions focusing on these factors to improve oral health and reduce disparities. Submission of original research reports, review articles, commentaries, perspectives or short communications in the following topics (but not limited to) is encouraged:
David Locker Research Scholarship 2016 Winners
Tom Broomhead – ‘Neighbourhood effects – spatial inequalities in oral health’
My academic background is in human geography, specifically inequalities, statistics and GIS. I have also previously worked for the School of Clinical Dentistry as a research assistant. My PhD research investigates the potential influences of neighbourhood environments on spatial inequalities in levels of tooth decay. To do this I am using a place based theoretical framework, along with two novel simulation methods – spatial microsimulation modelling, and agent-based modelling.
These two simulation methods have rarely been used in the field of dental public health before, and never in combination. My theoretical framework also represents a new way to conceptualise the potential effects of neighbourhoods on health, a topic which has had little to no research conducted on it within dentistry. As well as contributing to the dental public health literature, I believe the framework and methods have many potential uses in other medical research areas and the social sciences. The Professor David Locker Research Scholarship will be of great help to my studies, and will allow me the time to properly finish my simulation modelling and write up my findings. I am extremely grateful to Professor Locker and to the awarding committee, as it is truly an honour to receive this scholarship.
Sarab El Yousfi – ‘Exploring participation as a new perspective to child oral health promotion’
After completing my undergraduate studies in dentistry in Libya, I worked as a dentist for a few years then decided that I wanted to continue my education and after careful consideration I decided to go into the field of dental public health. The University of Sheffield was recommended to me by some friends who had enjoyed their experience at the university and had praised the level of teaching and facilities. I’m glad I took their advice, the university proved to have a wide international community and services are in place to make the transition for international students as smooth as possible. In addition to that, the staff at the department are both incredibly helpful and supportive. After gaining a Masters in Dental Public Health, I chose to continue on with my higher education and due to the positive experience I had during my Master’s I decided to stay on at the University of Sheffield. I am currently in my final year as a PhD student.
When I was sent an email to notify me that I had won the David Locker scholarship, I must have read it a dozen times as I couldn’t believe it. It’s a huge honour and I feel humbled to be recognized as worthy of such an award. Anyone who has studied Dental Public Health knows and understands the valuable contributions that Professor David Locker has made to the field. His generosity which is much appreciated now also contributes to the field of Dental Public Health by helping students such as myself during their PhD journey.
The School of Clinical Dentistry welcomes Lyndie Foster Page from New Zealand
We are delighted to have Lyndie Foster Page, senior lecturer in dental public health, from the University of Otago collaborating with us during her sabbatical to the UK. We have been working with Lyndie on shared publications, developing ideas for postgraduate research projects and planning future grant proposals.
Dr Sarah Baker has been elected President of...
The Behavioural, Epidemiologic and Health Services Research Group of the International Association for Dental Research (2013-14).
The Behavioral, Epidemiologic and Health Services Research Group (BEHSR) is one of several groups of IADR. The purpose of BEHSR is to promote and encourage research in the behavioral and social sciences and dental health services. These scientific areas include research on professions and public education, epidemiology of oral diseases and their prevention, behavioral studies of pain and anxiety, utilization of dental services, clinical decision analysis, evaluation of alternative treatments, delivery systems and their effects on oral health, as well as other subjects. The Group currently has a membership of more than 750 professionals from multiple disciplines across the world.
Giddon Award Success
Orawan Nammontri, Peter Robinson and Sarah Baker won the Giddon Award for distinguished research in the behavioural sciences awarded by the Behavioural, Epidemiologic and Health Services Research Group of IADR. The award was for their paper 'Enhancing oral health via sense of coherence: a cluster-randomized trial' published in Journal of Dental Research: 2013; 92:26-31.
The Giddon Award for Distinguished Research in the Behavioral Sciences recognizes a single research investigation published, or accepted for publication, in the current calendar year or in the calendar year prior to the current one in the fields of social or cultural anthropology, education, psychology, psychiatry, sociology, and social work applied to dentistry.
Fiction: Filling Childrens Teeth; Indicated or Not
Sheffield is one of the centres in NIHR HTA (http://www.hta.ac.uk/1783)a 5 year multicentre (Universities of Dundee, Newcastle, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, London & Sheffield) trial looking at the most effective way to mange decay in first teeth. Dental decay in children is a major public health problem, 40% of children in the Sheffield area have decay and over 2000 children living in Sheffield had a general anaesthetic in 2011 to have teeth removed. The research is being conducting with colleagues in primary dental care and will involve 50 practices and 1,500 children.
The Sheffield arm of the trial is lead by Chris Deery, Zoe Marshman and Helen Rodd. A Pilot Study was successfully completed last year and has informed the design of the main trial. Expected outcomes will in addition to tooth include the preferences of the children, their carer’s and the dentists, together with an economic analysis. To find out more visit: http://research.ncl.ac.uk/fictiontrial/
Marshman Z, Rodd HD, Deery C, Hall M, Speed C, Douglas G, Clarkson J, Inness N. The management of dental caries in primary teeth - involving service providers and users in the design of a trial. Trials 2012, 13:143
Decision aids in paediatric dental sedation: helping children choose what is right for them
Professor Helen Rodd, Dr Sarah Baker and Dr Zoe Marshman were recently successful in obtaining funding for a PhD studentship from the Society for the Advancement of Anaesthesia in Dentistry. This 3-year project will take a psychosocial approach and will focus on information-giving and decision-making for children and young people who are faced with choices about which sedation regimen to pursue. The study seeks to develop, and evaluate evidence-based decision aids for use in paediatric dental sedation, which should have wide application and a positive impact on patient experiences. We will also be collaborating with Dr Sondos Albadri and Dr Claire Stevens who run paediatric dentistry sedation clinics at Liverpool and Manchester Dental Hospitals respectively. Joe Hulin, a psychology graduate from Sheffield University, has recently taken up his studentship in April 2012.
Commissioning dental services for children in England
Professor Helen Rodd is currently chairing a working group, on behalf of the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry, to produce a document to guide the future commissioning of children’s dental services in England. She has been invited to meet with the Chief and Deputy Dental Officers to help develop care pathways for children’s dentistry to ensure oral health remains a key priority following NHS reforms. An engagement day will be held in London in May to seek patients’ and parents’ opinions on what services they would value.
Dental services for adults and children with learning disabilities
Jan Owens, Zoe Marshman and Mel Hall have just collaborated with adults and children with learning difficulties in Sheffield on a study funded by NHS Sheffield, which has produced the first piece of dental research that focuses on inclusion and enabling adults and children with learning difficulties to present their perspectives of oral health. There were self advocacy groups, Mencap, the People’s Parliament, Signpost Sheffield, and the learning disability case register involved. The research and the published report has had number of impacts: NHS Sheffield held a disability awareness day, the learning disability partnership board are exploring the issue of communication, and the North West learning disability observatory is using the report to inform national strategy through Valuing People Now.
More collaborations are underway and a cross disciplinary Sheffield inclusion network is under construction to enable inclusive research, with research ideas that are being generated by service users themselves. The aim is to place the University of Sheffield firmly within the community and work alongside people to address issues that are of greatest concern to people themselves. Our diversity, is our strength within our many faculties, and will foster the growth of Real World research. For more information email: email@example.com