2. Department of Quality and Safety of Oral Health Care, College of Dental Sciences, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
3. Department of Preventive and Restorative Dentistry, College of Dental Sciences, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
4. Department of Dentistry, School of Health Sciences, University of Brasília, Brazil.
5. Department of Oral Function and Prosthetic Dentistry, College of Dental Sciences, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Objectives: This study aimed to test epidemiologists' performance in assessing dental caries-related conditions and treatments using the online Caries Assessment Spectrum and Treatment (CAST) instrument.
Methods: Forty epidemiologists from 24 different countries followed online training, which consisted of studying the CAST Manual and a scientific publication. After training, participants assessed a set of thirty-six photographs that showed various caries-related conditions using the CAST instrument (codes 0-7). Their performance was compared to reference scores determined by three experienced examiners who had assessed the same conditions on the extracted teeth (codes 0-6) and pictures of a clinical condition (code 7). Additionally, participants were asked to determine their degree of certainty using a Likert scale.
Results: A total of 32.5% of the epidemiologists scored more than 80% of the cases correctly. From a total of 1 440 possible scores, 72.8% were scored correctly. Among the incorrect scores, 17.8% were higher than the reference scores. Certainty increased with correctly scored cases.
Conclusion: Epidemiologists' performance for scoring caries-related conditions and treatments on clinical photographs using CAST was adequate.
Keywords: Dental caries, dental education, dental health surveys, epidemiologic methods, caries assessment spectrum and treatment (CAST)