Determinants of Oral Health Assessment and Screening in Physician Assistant Clinical Practice

In 2013, a survey of directors of physician assistant education programs conducted by the Center for Health Workforce Studies (CHWS) found that more than 70% of respondent programs had integrated oral health topics into core content of their PA curriculum. A 2014 HRSA-sponsored report described core oral health clinical competencies for frontline primary care clinicians, including PAs, and outlined strategies for implementing oral health training in primary care practice and safety net settings. However, whether training in oral health in PA education programs translates to actual screening and assessment of patients’ oral health status in clinical practice remains unclear. OHWRC in cooperation with the American Association of Physician Assistants (AAPA) will field a survey to a sample of PAs across the US in 2016 to ascertain PA practice characteristics, to describe oral health screening activities for patients, to understand the extent and source of PA education in oral health, and to determine facilitators and barriers to the integration of oral health service in practice.

View full project description