OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to use a qualitative approach to examine the perceptions of dentists who led a health promotion programme entitled "Baby Teeth DO Matter".
BASIC RESEARCH DESIGN: Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with a variety of participants in a health promotional programme facilitated by a shadow Local Professional Network. These were then recorded and transcribed verbatim. The transcripts were line numbered and subjected to thematic analysis to develop a coding frame. Overarching themes were developed from the coded transcripts by organising them into clusters based on the similarity of their meaning and checked against the coded extracts and the raw data.
CLINICAL SETTING: General Dental Practice.
PARTICIPANTS: General Dental Practitioners.
INTERVENTIONS: A Greater Manchester-wide prevention programme entitled "Baby teeth DO Matter".
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: To determine the perceptions of involved clinicians and whether "clinically owned and clinically led" services add value.
RESULTS: Eight codes were generated: "Success of the project", "Down-stream to up-stream", "Importance of clinically led and clinically owned", "Keeping the approach simple", "Importance of networking", "Importance of Dental Public Health", "Importance of task and finish" and "Threats to the future of the Local Professional Network". These were organised into three over-arching themes.
CONCLUSIONS: "Clinically Led and Clinically Owned" projects appear to empower local practitioners and add value. They encourage community-facing practitioners, build capacity and develop personal skills;--all in accordance with the fundamental principles of the Ottawa Charter. Distributed leadership was seen to be effective and Dental Public Health input, "Task and Finishing", resources and clarity of communication were all considered to be of critical importance.