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Exploring dentists’ professional behaviours reported in United Kingdom newspaper media

Ellis, Matthew and Johnson, Ilona 2020. Exploring dentists’ professional behaviours reported in United Kingdom newspaper media. British Dental Journal 10.1038/s41415-020-1987-7
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Aim: Stories of dentists and their professional behaviours can be communicated around the world through news media. This may influence people’s perceptions of dentistry and their trust in professionals. The aim of this study was to explore reports of dentists and their professional behaviours in newspaper media.Method: All articles which included the term “dentist” alongside “professional” or “misconduct” or “behaviour” between 1 January 2016 and 31 October 2019 were retrieved from the ten most commonly read newspaper print media in the United Kingdom. Thematic analysis was undertaken following the application of inclusion and exclusion criteria.Results: A total of 122 articles were identified. Key themes included poor practice, dishonesty and fraud, the killing of Cecil the lion, sexual misconduct, racism and crime. Many articles focussed on a small number of extreme cases, labelling the dentists involved and sensationalising the stories. Reports did not reflect the majority of fitness to practise cases seen by the General Dental Council. ConclusionThe sensationalist approach to the reporting dental professional behaviours in the news may cause patients to have less trust in their dentist, and it is recommended that dentists and journalists work constructively together in the best interests of the public

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Dentistry
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 0007-0610
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 May 2020
Date of Acceptance: 4 May 2020
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2020 11:12

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