Research and Practice Communications Between Oral Health Providers and Prenatal Health Providers: A Bibliometric Analysis

John Skvoretz, Karen Dyer, Ellen Daley, Rita Debate, Cheryl Vamos, Nolan Kline, Erika Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives We aimed to examine scholarly collaboration between oral health and prenatal providers. Oral disease is a silent epidemic with significant public health implications for pregnant women. Evidence linking poor oral health during pregnancy to adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes requires oral health and prenatal providers to communicate on the prevention, treatment and co-management matters pertaining to oral health issues among their pregnant patients. The need for inter-professional collaboration is highlighted by guidelines co-endorsed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Dental Association, stressing the importance of oral health care during pregnancy. Methods To assess if interdisciplinary communication occurs between oral health and prenatal disciplines, we conducted a network analysis of research on pregnancy-related periodontal disease. Results Social Network analysis allowed us to identify communication patterns between communities of oral health and prenatal professionals via scientific journals. Analysis of networks of citations linking journals in different fields reveals a core-periphery pattern dominated by oral health journals with some participation from medicine journals. However, an analysis of dyadic ties of citation reveals statistically significant “inbreeding” tendencies in the citation patterns: both medical and oral health journals tend to cite their own kind at greater-than-chance levels. Conclusions Despite evidence suggesting that professional collaboration benefits patients’ overall health, findings from this research imply that little collaboration occurs between these two professional groups. More collaboration may be useful in addressing women’s oral-systemic health concerns that result in adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1607-1619
Number of pages13
JournalMaternal and Child Health Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • Adverse pregnancy outcomes
  • Oral health providers
  • Prenatal care providers
  • Social network analysis


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