Title: 0209 - The Impact of Time Pressure on Dentists’ Radiographic Diagnostic Performance


Anastasios Plessas (Presenter)
Plymouth University, Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry (PU PSMD)

Mona Nasser, Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry
Timothy O' Brien, Plymouth University, Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry (PU PSMD)
Maria Bernardes Delgado, Plymouth University, Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry (PU PSMD)
Yaniv Hanoch, Plymouth University
David Moles, Plymouth University


Objectives: Stress is prevalent amongst dentists. Time pressure has been cited as a major stressor in dental clinical practice. A recent systematic review identified a paucity of experimental research on the impact of different stressors on dentists’ clinical performance. The aim of this experimental study was to explore the role of time pressure on dentists’ radiographic diagnostic performance.

Methods: Twenty-one dentists observed, and provided a radiographic report on, two sets of radiographs (six bitewings in each set) under two conditions (time-pressure and no-time-pressure). The time pressure for each radiograph was calculated, following a pilot-study according to the method described by Ordonez and Benson. The radiographic report of an experienced consultant (without time pressure) was considered the gold standard against which participants diagnostic decisions were compared to calculate sensitivity and specificity. Participants rated their stress after each experimental condition using a visual analogue scale (VAS). Independent samples Mann-Whitney U tests were used to assess the difference between the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity between the two conditions.

Results: The VAS scores for stress were significantly higher when the dentists were operating under time pressure than when making decisions without time pressure (mean: 54.38 versus 0.95, p<0.0001), confirming that the time pressure acted as a stress factor. Regarding the dentists’ diagnostic performance, the sensitivity was significantly lower under time pressure (median: 0.166 versus 0.555, p<0.0001), however, the specificity was not found to be significantly different (p=0.863).

Conclusions: Diagnostic errors and omissions of pathology in radiographic reports may occur when dentists are making decisions while under time-pressure. Our data demonstrate that time pressure could decrease the sensitivity but not the specificity of the radiographic diagnostic performance of dentists.

Student Presenter

This abstract is based on research that was funded entirely or partially by an outside source:

Disclosure Statement:
The submitter must disclose the names of the organizations with which any author have a relationship, the nature of the relationship, and the clinical or research area involved. The following is submitted: NONE