DPBRN learned several lessons regarding its administrative structure in its early years;several aspects evolved accordingly. For example, although our PSC was the main decision-making body, we soon realized that we needed a Regional Directors Committee (RDC) to decide how best to implement those decisions. We next learned that the RDC could easily get its agenda bogged down by discussing details of particular studies, so next we formed study implementation groups, whose only agenda item was to discuss a single study. However, we next learned that this same team really needed to shepherd the study in each phase, from study design, to pilot testing, to field phase management, to data analysis and manuscript preparation. Thus we formed Study Teams for each study (led by the Study PI). Weekly meetings between the National Network Director group and the Data Coordinating Center group fostered communication between these two groups, adjusted priorities weekly, and established clarity about who was supposed to do what and when. We later realized that our Regional Coordinators (research assistants) needed to discuss agenda items not specific to a particular study, so we began Regional Coordinator meetings. We also learned that we needed a formal document to guide administration of publications and presentations, completing in 2006 the DPBRN publications policy [22], which in 2009 served as the template for the CONDOR three-network policy [23]. Coincident with all this we saw the communication value of taking minutes at each meeting, with a focus on recording Decisions, assigning Action Items with deadlines, and holding persons accountable for those items. Although this amounted to a significant number of committees, it improved our effectiveness substantially. Because the network must have many 'balls in the air'at the same time to maximize its productivity, we believe that this evolution in administrative structure fostered our productivity in the 2005-2012 cycle. Therefore, we propose the same administrative structure for NDPBRN, depicted in the graphic below. The best structure is the one that leads to the best function and performance. We believe that structure is best compared across networks not by comparing assertions about structure or planned collaborations, but by using objective measures of output (i.e., the ones delineated in Section B.I., p. 222).

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Research Program--Cooperative Agreements (U19)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZDE1-JH (23))
Project Start
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University of Alabama Birmingham
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Kakudate, Naoki; Sumida, Futoshi; Matsumoto, Yuki et al. (2015) Dentists' decisions to conduct caries risk assessment in a Dental Practice-Based Research Network. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 43:128-34
Gordan, Valeria V; National Dental PBRN Collaborative Group (2014) Translating research into everyday clinical practice: lessons learned from a USA national dental practice-based research network. Tex Dent J 131:590-9
Fellows, Jeffrey L; Gordan, Valeria V; Gilbert, Gregg H et al. (2014) Dentist and practice characteristics associated with restorative treatment of enamel caries in permanent teeth: multiple-regression modeling of observational clinical data from the National Dental PBRN. Am J Dent 27:91-9
Ray, Midge N; Funkhouser, Ellen; Williams, Jessica H et al. (2014) Smoking-cessation e-referrals: a national dental practice-based research network randomized controlled trial. Am J Prev Med 46:158-65
Norton, Wynne E; Funkhouser, Ellen; Makhija, Sonia K et al. (2014) Concordance between clinical practice and published evidence: findings from The National Dental Practice-Based Research Network. J Am Dent Assoc 145:22-31
Riley 3rd, Joseph L; Gordan, Valeria V; Hudak-Boss, Susan E et al. (2014) Concordance between patient satisfaction and the dentist's view: findings from The National Dental Practice-Based Research Network. J Am Dent Assoc 145:355-62
Makhija, Sonia K; Gilbert, Gregg H; Funkhouser, Ellen et al. (2014) Twenty-month follow-up of occlusal caries lesions deemed questionable at baseline: findings from the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network. J Am Dent Assoc 145:1112-8
Makhija, S K; Gilbert, G H; Funkhouser, E et al. (2014) Characteristics, detection methods and treatment of questionable occlusal carious lesions: findings from the national dental practice-based research network. Caries Res 48:200-7
Gordan, Valeria V; Riley 3rd, Joseph; Geraldeli, Saulo et al. (2014) The decision to repair or replace a defective restoration is affected by who placed the original restoration: findings from the National Dental PBRN. J Dent 42:1528-34
Law, Alan S; Nixdorf, Donald R; Rabinowitz, Ira et al. (2014) Root canal therapy reduces multiple dimensions of pain: a national dental practice-based research network study. J Endod 40:1738-45

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