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Knowledge Encounters Project update

Dominic HurstI’ve been a little quiet for the past few weeks as I have been organising dentists’ data collection for the project.

It has been a real pleasure talking to the participants before they take part and very warming to hear their enthusiasm for the project as they come to understand in greater depth what I am up to.

As a recap, the knowledge encounters project I am running seeks to improve our understanding of where dentists get their knowledge from and how this knowledge is integrated (or not) with existing knowledge.Knowledge encounters on computer and phone

As evidenced by the breadth of knowledge encounters dentists have recorded so far, clinicians build knowledge from diverse sources.

I thought I’d pop out a few more interim results here as more data has come in from dentists recording their encounters.


As you can see below, experiential knowledge and codified knowledge (e.g. published articles, research, educational books) are encountered about a quarter of the time, and codified knowledge in a personalised form (e.g. a colleague or educator talking about codified knowledge) almost a fifth of the time. (There is a full description of what these terms mean here).

What 14-08-2015


Perhaps not surprisingly the largest group of people who share knowledge with the dentists in this study are fellow colleagues 42% of the time. Interestingly, patients, employers, salespeople and researchers each share knowledge 10% of the time. The detail of the encounters with patients that emerges from the qualitative data collected is fascinating, with quite detailed knowledge being passed on to GDPs, particularly from specialists and hospital consultants.

Who 14-08-2015

How many?

Much of the knowledge encounters seem to take place when dentists are alone or with one other person, usually a colleague or patient. A large proportion of the group encounters involve online discussion forums.

How many 14-08-2015


Once again, I’d like to thank all my colleagues who have taken part so far and those who have enrolled and will soon begin collecting data.

If you think you would like to contribute please do get in touch.

All the Best,


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