Contact person:
Hanne Berthelsen
  • Forte
Responsible at Malmö University:
Hanne Berthelsen
  • Katharina Wretlind
  • Hugo Westerlund
  • Folktandvården i Västra Götalandsregionen
  • Stressforskningsinstitutet vid Stockholms universitet
Time frame:
01 January 2017 - 31 December 2020
Research environment :
https://copsoq.se/ external link icon

Dentistry has been shown to have a demanding psychosocial work environment where time pressure is a main problem. Quality of work can be considered as one of the most valuable goals for human service workers and organizations as it is closely connected to the core of work. However, the potential impact of the work environment on dental care quality remains unknown, despite that dental diseases are still a major public health challenge.

The overall aim is to investigate the relationship between work environment and dental care quality at the clinic level. We hypothesize that the quality of a technically demanding work task such as composite fillings in posterior teeth and patient safety are influenced by work load and interpersonal relationships at the clinic. Our specific aims are to analyze to what extent a) reported adverse events and b) the objective longevity of dental fillings are impacted by workload and interpersonal relationships at the clinic. Additionally, we will investigate whether any such effect is mediated by stress. We will also evaluate self-assessed care quality as an indicator of objective dental care quality at the clinic level.

Prospective data on the outcomes will be obtained from The Swedish Quality Registry for Caries and Periodontal Disease (longevity of dental fillings) and from the county councils (adverse events). Exposure data is based on a work environment survey conducted 2014-15 as part of the ongoing Swedish validation project of COPSOQ II. Data from 80 general public health dental clinics, based on 989 individual ratings and planned data from 40-60 more clinics will be included in the analyses. The main analyses will be based on Structural Equation Modelling, and propensity scores will be calculated for confounding adjustment.

The project adds innovative knowledge on the complex interplay between working conditions in dentistry and oral public health.