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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 296-302

The dental hygienists in Sweden and Portugal: A comparative study

1 Department of Dental Medicine, Division of Oral Diseases, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge, Sweden
2 Department of Dental Hygiene, School of Dental Medicine, University of Lisbon, Portugal

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Annsofi Johannsen
Department of Dental Medicine, Division of Oral Diseases, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_1_19

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Aims and Objectives: The aim of the present study was to identify the dental hygienists (DHs)' working areas and compare these findings between Sweden and Portugal. Materials and Methods: A web-based questionnaire was sent by E-mail to all 2943 members of the Swedish DH Association and 381 members of the Portuguese DH Association. The questionnaire contained questions about; number of years of work, which patient groups they worked with, if they had got sufficient knowledge from the education and what different tasks they worked with. Independent sample t-test, relative risk, and logistic regression analysis were used as statistical methods. Results: The response rate for Sweden was 31% (n = 923) and the corresponding figure for Portugal was 53.5% (n = 204). The most common tasks for the DHs, in both countries, were to diagnose and treat patients with periodontitis and to diagnose and perform caries prevention. In Portugal, 86.5% worked with orthodontic patients compared to 32.3% in Sweden (P = 0.001). The logistic regression analysis showed that there was a 25% (P = 0.02) higher probability that Swedish DHs took more X-rays and 38% (P = 0.042) probability that they had more communications skills compared to the Portuguese DHs. Conclusion: The DH profession in Sweden and Portugal was overall quite similar. Despite a few local differences, both the academic education and scope of practice corresponded well between the countries. The few discrepancies could be explained by differences in legislations in each country.

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