ADVOCATE Conference 2019

The ADVOCATE [Added Value for Oral Care] Conference on 25th and 26th March 2019 brought European researchers, policy-makers and dentists to UCC to discuss best practises to enhance disease prevention in dentistry and increase quality of life. MEP Deirdre Clune launched the project findings with UCC President Patrick O’Shea and Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly.

Dental decay and gum disease are amongst the most common diseases globally, but could be prevented. Professor Helen Whelton initiated the ADVOCATE research project with 11 partners from prestigious universities, health insurers, and other public and private sector institutions across eight European countries in 2015 to analyse best practices and optimise delivery of oral health and wellbeing in the EU. ADVOCATE uses multiple approaches for improvement of oral health care delivery, including methods to motivate a greater focus on disease prevention in dental practice. ADVOCATE looked at system changes which might incentivise prevention (extrinsic motivation) and the use of feedback mechanisms and quality improvement groups (intrinsic motivation) to help dentists shift towards more preventive practice. The lessons learned are also applicable to general health promotion. The project additionally highlights the potential for politicians and policy makers to provide the right incentives, mechanism and environments to support prevention.

The Conference closed with guest speakers Professor Nigel Pitts, Global Chair for the Alliance for a Cavity Free Future and Professor David Williams, Vice Chair World Dental Federation, emphasising further opportunities of collaboration to promote oral health prevention globally.

ADVOCATE Newsletter Conference Edition

Achievements of the ADVOCATE project are presented at the ADVOCATE Conference and AGM in Cork on 25th and 26th March. This special newsletter edition accompanies the conferences and gives an overview of key achievements of all areas of the project.

Click below to read the newsletter as an interactive PDF.

Paper: Improving oral healthcare using academic detailing – design of the ADVOCATE Field Studies

Academic detailing (AD) is a defined form of educational outreach that can be deployed to intrinsically motivate practitioners towards improving quality of care. This paper describes the design of the ADVOCATE Field Studies.

This proof of concept study aims to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and usefulness of AD, reinforced with feedback information to promote prevention-oriented, patient-centred and evidence-based oral healthcare delivery by general dental practitioners (GDPs). The results of the study will provide novel information on the feasibility, perceived acceptability and usefulness of AD and feedback data for GDPs to improve oral healthcare delivery.

Read full paper here:


Baadoudi F., Duijster D., Maskrey N., Ali F., Listl S., Whelton H., van der Heijden G.J.(2019). Improving oral health care using academic detailing: Design of the ADVOCATE Field Studies. Acta Odontologica Scandinavia.

Data Conference

In collaboration with Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA), held a data conference at the University of Leeds, in order to gain a better understanding of the some of the legal, practical and ethical issues surrounding the collection of data across Europe.

It was a perfect opportunity for WP2 and WP3 to come together and discuss the quantitative and qualitative aspects of data research.

30 participants involved in the project attended the conference and its workshops. Sessions included an introduction to PESTLE and the legal aspects of data use. Frank Fox of Bridges Data led a workshop on available data, barriers and facilitators to data access.