Objectives To investigate problems and the current status of existing methods of communication between patients, dentists and physicians for the prevention and treatment of medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (MRONJ). Design A focus group interview study with a descriptive design using qualitative content analysis of transcripts. Setting Secondary care in Korea. Participants 3 patient groups and 4 health professional groups in a total of 32 participants including patients with osteoporosis or bone metastasis, dentists and physicians. Results This study revealed that patients lacked medical knowledge of osteoporosis drugs, whereas dentists and physicians lacked each other's expertise. All patients reported undergoing dental treatments during the osteoporosis drug treatment, but dentists and physicians had different MRONJ experiences depending on their work setting in primary or secondary care. Patients expressed dissatisfaction with the current system of communication with health professionals via letter as they found this to be a slow process. Dentists and physicians reported the need for effective communication because they felt defensive when sending and receiving medical consults. Conclusions Despite the low incidence of MRONJ among patients with osteoporosis, it is difficult to treat; thus, it is necessary to inform dentists, physicians and patients about the importance of MRONJ prevention. To this end, close communication among all involved stakeholders about osteoporosis drugs is required.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
1Department of Advanced General Dentistry and Human Identification Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Dentistry, Seoul, Republic of Korea 2Department of Internal Medicine, Endocrine Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea 3Department of Advanced General Dentistry and Institute for Innovation in Digital Healthcare, Yonsei University College of Dentistry, Seoul, Republic of Korea Acknowledgements We gratefully acknowledge the strong support of a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI). We also would like to thank all the patients, dentists and physicians who participated in focus group interview.
Funding This research was supported by a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (grant number: HI18C0474).
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