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10.1016_j.jdent.2022.104144.pdf (1.43 MB)

Is tele-diagnosis of dental conditions reliable during COVID-19 pandemic? Agreement between tentative diagnosis via synchronous audioconferencing and definitive clinical diagnosis

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submitted on 2023-12-06, 07:25 and posted on 2023-12-06, 12:01 authored by Shaymaa Abdulreda Ali, Walid El Ansari

Objectives

To assess the reliability of synchronous audioconferencing teledentistry (TD) in making tentative diagnosis compared to definitive clinical face-to-face (CFTF) diagnosis; and whether agreement was influenced by dentist's experience, caller-patient relationship, and time of call.

Methods

All patients calling the TD hotline during COVID-19 pandemic, triaged as emergency/ urgent and referred for CFTF care were included (N=191). Hotline dentists triaged the calls, made tentative audio-dentistry (AD) diagnosis, while dentists at point of referral made the definitive CFTF diagnosis. Cohen's weighted kappa (κ) assessed the extent of agreement between AD vs CFTF diagnosis.

Results

There was significantly very good pair-wise agreement (κ = 0.853, P < 0.0001) between AD and CFTF diagnosis. AD diagnosis of pulpitis and periodontitis exhibited the most frequent disagreements. Tele-dentists with ≥ 20 years’ experience exhibited the highest level of agreement (κ =0.872, P < 0.0001). There was perfect agreement when mothers mediated the call (κ = 1, P < 0.0001), and very good agreement for calls received between 7 am-2 pm (κ = 0.880, P < 0.0001) compared to calls received between 2-10 pm (κ = 0.793, P < 0.0001).

Conclusions

Remote tentative diagnosis using AD is safe and reliable. Reliability was generally very good but varied by dentist's experience, caller-patient relationship, and time of call. Clinical significance The findings suggest that using AD in the home environment is safe and reliable, deploying providers with variable years of experience. The findings have generalizability potential to a variety of similar circumstances, healthcare settings and epi/pandemic situations.

Other Information

Published in: Journal of Dentistry
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
See article on publisher's website: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jdent.2022.104144

Funding

Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library.

History

Language

  • English

Publisher

Elsevier

Publication Year

  • 2022

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Medical Corporation
  • Hamad Dental Center - HMC
  • Hamad General Hospital - HMC
  • Qatar University
  • Qatar University Health - QU
  • College of Medicine - QU HEALTH
  • Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar

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