Study supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Paper presented at the American Public Health Association meeting, Anaheim, November 14, 1984.
Effect of Secular Decline in Caries on the Evaluation of Preventive Dentistry Demonstrations*
Article first published online: 1 MAY 2007
Journal of Public Health Dentistry
Volume 45, Issue 2, pages 83–89, June 1985
How to Cite
Bohannan, H. M., Graves, R. C., Disney, J. A., Stamm, J. W., Abernathy, J. B. and Bader, J. D. (1985), Effect of Secular Decline in Caries on the Evaluation of Preventive Dentistry Demonstrations. Journal of Public Health Dentistry, 45: 83–89. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-7325.1985.tb01943.x
- Issue published online: 1 MAY 2007
- Article first published online: 1 MAY 2007
- dental caries;
- clinical trials;
- control groups;
- fluoride mouthrinsing
Studies of dental preventive interventions often do not incorporate a concurrent, longitudinal control group in their study design. The existence of a secular decline in dental caries during the conduct of these studies may result in an overstatement of the effectiveness of the preventive intervention. Results of a recent large caries preventive study are analyzed using both a concurrent, longitudinal control group and an historical comparison group to demonstrate this effect. Differences in effectiveness of preventive procedures determined using the two types of control groups are sufficient to suggest a probable misinterpretation of results of studies using only historical comparisons.