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GUIDE - Working with citizen scientists to improve GUideline Implementation in DEntistry


GUIDE is a citizen science platform inviting members of the public (citizens) to share their experiences of dental care and suggest ideas to improve them. The platform is also a place to learn more about oral and dental health through blog posts and videos from our team. The project is led by the University of Aberdeen in partnership with the Universities of Dundee, West England Bristol and NHS Education for Scotland.

National dental guidelines are released by the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) to improve clinical practice. SDCEP works in close partnership with TRiaDS, a programme that aims to increase uptake of clinical guidelines, by providing appropriate support to healthcare professionals. Patients and members of the public play a key role in this process. Using an online citizen science platform to understand their experiences and gather their suggestions is a novel approach in dentistry.

The platform was launched in September 2021 and it sets up challenges to citizens, where they are asked to comment on specific aspects of their dental care experiences. After participants post their comments and ideas, others can comment on them and vote. Each activity is associated with points in the platform, which results in badges of participation and a live leader board showing who has accumulated the most points. The ideas are then discussed by an expert advisory group including dentists, guideline developers, patients and researchers to assess feasibility and relevance. To date, we had 199 citizens joining, and 138 ideas generated. We found citizens have a strong interest in evidence-based information related to oral health self-care.

The results from the platform will be out by the end of the year, and if you would like to learn more please contact Dr Beatriz Goulao, For now, one thing is safe to say – citizens are interested and keen on working with dental professionals, and other key stakeholders, to improve oral and dental care to all.

To find out more about GUIDE please visit: