What's the evidence that NICE guidance has been implemented?: Analysis is subject to confounding

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.330.7499.1084-b (Published 05 May 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1084
  1. Colin Tilley, research fellow, Dental Heath Services Research Unit (c.j.tilley@chs.dundee.ac.uk),
  2. Fay Crawford, NHS research and development fellow, Tayside Centre for General Practice,
  3. Jan Clarkson, NES senior lecturer in dental primary care, Dental Health Services Research Unit,
  4. Nigel Pitts, professor, Dental Heath Services Research Unit,
  5. Mary McCann, deputy chief dental officer for Scotland
  1. Health Informatics Centre, University of Dundee, Dundee DD2 4BF
  2. Scottish Executive, Edinburgh EH1 3DG

    EDITOR—Sheldon et al show a gradual reduction in the number of wisdom teeth extractions, which they propose indicates a diffusion of guidance from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) into clinical dental practice.1 The first figure in our response on bmj.com shows the annual number of courses of treatment that included at least one extraction of the third molar in the General Dental Service in Scotland.2 This figure corresponds to the presentation of data in figure 1 of Sheldon et al's paper.1

    The raw number of claims per …

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