The COD’s Wach Research Grant Program Committee awarded the Department of Restorative Dentistry $15,000 to examine the “Correlation between diagnostic complexity and treatment outcomes: a prospective study.” Co-investigators are Dr. Fatemeh Afshari, Clinical Assistant Professor, and Dr. Cortino Sukotjo and Dr. Judy Yuan, Assistant Professors, Restorative Dentistry.
Few studies have measured outcomes of treatments provided or correlated treatment to the diagnostic complexity, patients treated in a predoctoral dental or postgraduate prosthodontic programs. This research attempts to determine patient diagnoses and correlating to outcomes of implant therapy within a clinical setting, including assessment of patient expectations and satisfaction.
A pilot diagnosis and therapy-tracking database for implant patients was developed and implemented within the Department of Restorative Dentistry, and is successfully evaluating outcomes of implant-retained removable partial dentures, fixed complete dentures, and implant-retained overdentures on a trial basis.
“However, this research methodology can be adapted and improved from a paper format to a dynamic web-based database,” Dr. Afshari explained. “To this end, in the proposed study, treatment outcomes will be prospectively documented via a secure web application—Research Electronic Data Capture, or REDCAP.
“As such, it will potentially have use in venues other than UIC, thereby fostering broad clinical research collaboration and large patient population outcomes research to improve patient treatment and maintenance,” she added.
“By systematically analyzing a broad array of diagnostic factors via the prosthodontic diagnostic index and learning their associations with treatment outcomes, current and future methods for patient therapy are expected to be refined,” Dr. Afshari said. “Most importantly, a more comprehensive assessment of patient perspectives will further focus therapy approaches towards patient benefits from functional, psychological, and economic perspectives.
“Collaboration with additional institutions will more readily occur because the web-based database approach will provide a systematic, user-friendly platform for data collection,” she concluded. “Externally funded research will be more likely, and a larger patient population will yield even more accurate information regarding the link between prognostic factors and treatment outcomes."
The researchers thanked the Wach Research Grant Program Committee, chaired by Dr. Guy Adami, Associate Professor, Department of Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, for not only seeing merit in the proposal, but for giving the researchers opportunities to revise and improve it.
The project has received additional support from Restorative Dentistry Department Head Dr. Stephen Campbell and Postgraduate Program Directors Dr. Kent Knoernschild and Dr. Rand Harlow. Departmental Hygienist Mayra Suh and Clinical Director Stephanie Clarke also will work on the project.