OBJECTIVE: To conduct a scoping review of literature to describe how the care index (CI) and restorative index (RI) are used in child populations and to determine whether they are fit for purpose.
BASIC RESEARCH DESIGN: Scoping review conducted using the Arksey and O'Malley (2005) framework.
METHOD: Electronic and manual literature searches (1980-2015) were conducted. Titles and abstracts were screened, full-texts of potential studies were reviewed two reviewers extracted data independently, followed by data charting and summarising.
RESULTS: Out of 104 articles meeting all criteria, most were cross-sectional (92%), and 56% were conducted in UK and Brazil. Most commonly (63%) studies used CI and RI to obtain epidemiological data on dental care levels. Of the studies that defined CI and RI, most used and specified the standard definition. The CI and RI scores varied either due to patient related factors such as age, gender or dental care related factors including, cost of treatment and method of provider remuneration.
CONCLUSION: Overall, it is recommended that future studies should clearly state the definitions and thresholds used to obtain CI and RI, which would enable comparison between communities and allow temporal trends to be studied. Additionally, deriving separate CI and RI scores for groups based on caries extent would help to highlight inequalities in the provision of care. Further research is needed to explore the applicability of CI and RI to changing approaches to caries management with current care recommendations emphasising on minimal treatment and secondary prevention.
- Journal Article