OBJECTIVES: We measured and contrasted general dentists’ and periodontists’ involvement in 3 areas of managing diabetic patients-assessment of health status, discussion of pertinent issues, and active management of patients–and identified and contrasted predictors of active management of diabetic patients.
METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional mail survey of random samples of general dentists and periodontists in the northeastern United States during fall 2002, using lists from the 2001 American Dental Directory and the 2002 American Academy of Periodontology Directory. Responses were received from 105 of 132 eligible general dentists (response rate=80%) and from 103 of 142 eligible periodontists (response rate=73%).
RESULTS: Confidence, involvement with colleagues and medical experts, and professional responsibility were influential predictors of active management for periodontists (R2=0.46, P<.001). Variables pertaining to patient relations were significant predictors for general dentists (R2=0.55, P<.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings permitted us to assess and compare general dentists’ and periodontists’ behavior in 3 realms–assessment of diabetic patients’ health status, discussion of pertinent issues, and active management of diabetic patients–and to identify components of potentially effective targeted interventions aimed at increasing specialists’ and generalist dentists’ involvement in the active management of diabetic patients.