Screening for chronic disease risk factors in a dental setting with video-based health education (VBHE)

Mousa G. Ghannam

Ghannam, Mousa, G.1, Nightingale, Kira1, Li, Jiahui, M1, Han, Xiaoyan1, Yablonski, Jana1, Gabinskiy, Marta1, Tangi, Reneé1, Corby, Patricia1, M, Akintoye, Sunday2
1University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Center for Clinical and Translational Research
2University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Department of Oral Medicine


Chronic disease has become the most prevalent and costly health condition in the united states. Given that individuals with undiagnosed chronic diseases have contact with the healthcare system through dental care, the dental clinic is a promising, non-traditional primary care setting for oral and dental healthcare professionals (ODHCPs) to screen for undiagnosed chronic disease. Yet, patients’ limited knowledge of chronic disease risk and insufficient time for ODHCP to educate patients may be barriers to effectively conduct dental ‘chairside’ screening (dentalCS) for risk factors. The goal of this study is to explore the feasibility and acceptance by patients and providers of a Video Based Health Education (VBHE) delivered in the dental setting as a tool to improve linkage-to-primary care. Our hypothesis is that dentalCS is an ideal non-traditional setting to enhance screening for chronic disease risk factors.


In collaboration with the UPenn Learning Technology Team (LTT), a video on ‘Oral health and Systemic Health Connections’ was designed, developed and deployed to test its feasibility, acceptability and appropriateness as a learning tool for dental patients. The video was initially evaluated by a focus group of oral medicine specialists prior to delivering to patients, and was also reviewed as appropriate to be used by dental health professionals to encourage referral-for-care. A questionnaire was designed with responses on a 7-point Likert scale to asses for video quality, content, design and duration. A web-based platform was used for video deployment to patients and dental practitioners. The educational video was accessed using a unique and encrypted QR code that allowed individualized login on any electronic device. At the end of the video, study participants were asked to complete an online questionnaire on the overall usefulness and satisfaction with the video. Additionally, user behavior and interactions with the educational video were captured using privatized deployment of a proprietary analytics software.


Overall, our pilot VBHE was favorably rated by oral medicine experts in every category. There were no significant differences between time spent watching the video between dental patients and practitioners. Additionally, evaluation of the video for content, quality and clinical appropriateness were strongly supported and approved by respondents. Collectively, 91-100% were satisfied with all aspects of the video while only 19% indicated a need to either shorten or increase the video duration.


Video-based health education in a dental setting is feasible, effective and acceptable by patients and dental healthcare providers.