Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
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Riordain, RN;O'Sullivan, K;McCreary, C
Community Dental Health
Retrospective evaluation of the referral pattern to an oral medicine unit in Ireland
WOS: 10 ()
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Objectives: The aims of this study were firstly to examine patient demographics, lesion types and referral sources to Cork University Dental School and Hospital (CUDSH) for oral medicine services and secondly, to indicate factors that could improve the efficiency of the service provided. Methods: A retrospective analysis of the clinical records for all new patients, both public and private, seen in the CUDSH oral medicine unit (n=412) in the calendar year 2007 was undertaken. For each patient the following parameters were recorded: age, gender, residence, referral source and the reason for referral including site of lesion. Results: The majority of patients were females and the majority of referrals came from general dental practitioners. The most common reason for referral was due to concern about white lesions. Raised soft tissue lesions including epuli and mucocoeles were second and ulceration, including recurrent aphthous and traumatic ulceration, was the third most common reason for referral. Conclusions: To our knowledge this is the first study to investigate factors influencing referrals to oral medicine clinics in Ireland. Based on the results presented there appears to be a considerable demand for an oral medicine service dealing with oral lesions and conditions which other practitioners consider to be outside the scope of their practice. Studies of this nature should prove to be valuable in maximising hospital resources at a time when economic factors are leading to increased financial pressure in health care funding.
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