“There is consensus on the importance of early detection and treatment of hypertension and dental care is one of the few medical services which involves a considerable proportion of the population returning for routine check-ups” (Berne, Engstrom, Gahnberg, & Svardsudd, 2011, p 194). Little is known about the frequency and consistency of blood pressure screening practices or barriers affecting these procedures. Research findings may support efforts to increase or routinize scope and frequency of this preventive procedure among dental healthcare providers or make it a standard of care. Data from the survey was used to assess what type of setting dental hygienists are working in, the length of time they have been practicing, whether blood pressure readings are taken, the type of procedures for which blood pressure readings are taken, reasons that readings may not be taken, and barriers to taking blood pressure readings. Approximately 500 Colorado Dental Hygiene Association members were asked to participate through an online survey. 109 respondents gave consent and completed the survey, constituting a 21.8% response rate for the survey. Based on the data collected in the survey, most respondents work in general dental practices and have worked for more than 20 years. Most dental hygienists reported taking blood pressure readings at each recall, whether it be every three-four months or every six months, depending on the recall. With most of the respondents indicating that blood pressure screening was emphasized in their dental hygiene curriculum, only half of the respondents take blood pressure readings on all patients and for all dental procedures. Study participants reported having too little time in appointments to perform this task and the equipment not being available or functional as the biggest reasonings for not taking blood pressure readings. Respondents reported the most common reason for taking blood pressure readings is that it is valued by themselves. Dental hygienists indicated that they believe the most common barrier for not partaking in blood pressure screening practices is having too little time in appointment.


Dawn Larsen

Committee Member

Mark Windschitl

Committee Member

Trisha Krenik-Matejcek

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Health Science


Allied Health and Nursing



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