photo © Patrick van der Sande

Yvonne Buunk-Werkhoven, PhD (1967) is social psychologist and oral hygienist.

As independent researcher and consultant she has extensive knowledge and years of experience with issues in research at the interface of health psychology and preventive oral health care. She is (inter)nationally involved in promotion, prevention, education and behavioral change.

Together with Prof. dr. Arie Dijkstra (University of Groningen) she has written a book chapter in: “Planned Behavior: Theory, Applications and Perspectives.” For the reliability and validity of the MondiX®, data are collected among a representative group of 1,450 Dutch people. The norms derived from this study form the basis for the digital index, which can be used as a useful index to assess and evaluate oral hygiene behavior of individuals and population groups. In addition, she is doing research in the field of preventive oral health care, attractiveness and oral hygiene behavior, including in Curacao (University of Curacao Dr. Moises da Costa Gomez). Several studies are implemented to promote the use of toothpicks in the horeca (hotel-restaurant-cafe). Currently, she is writing a book (in Dutch) for professionals about preventive oral care, including interventions.

Many of her scientific and professional publications have appeared in several scientific journals and magazines, including the well-known Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, International Dental Journal, International Journal of Dental Hygiene, Dutch Journal for Dentistry (NTvT), the Dutch Journal for Oral/Dental Hygiene (NTvM) and DentalInfo.

More about Yvonne Buunk-Werkhoven: On April 1, 2010 she obtained her PhD as psychologist and oral hygienist in Behavioral and Social Sciences at the RUG on the thesis World White Teeth: Determinants and promotion of oral hygiene behavior in diverse contexts. From April 2010 to November 2016 she was a member of the board of the Dutch Dental Hygienists Association with a special focus on Education & Science. During the 2nd period in the board (2012-2014) also with focus on Quality. Till June 2016, she was Chair of the Professional and Public Relations Committee HoD-IFDH, within the House of Delegates of the International Federational of Dental Hygienists. In September 2010 she has been selected as Executive Member of the Chief Dental Officer/Public Health Section (PHS) of the FDI World Dental Federation. In 2011 she is an invited member of the Dutch dental scientific society: Nederlandsch Tandheelkundig Genootschap.

Yvonne started her career as a dental assistant in Haren (Groningen). In 1989 she obtained her degree as an oral hygienist in Utrecht. After several years of employment in a general dental practice and in a periodontology practice, in 1995 she accepted a position as lecturer at the School of Dentistry & Oral Hygiene in Groningen. She also worked as an oral hygienist and researcher in a Dutch forensic psychiatric centre, and studied psychology part time at the University of Groningen (RUG). During her studies she was involved as trainer in the ‘student court’, an educational activity within the law faculty. In 2005 she graduated in social psychology (minor clinical psychology and free study-components jurisprudence). Then, with support by a grant from ‘Stichting Mobiliteitsfonds hbo’ (now ‘Zestor’), she started a part-time PhD research project on the determinants and promotion of oral hygiene behavior in Nepal, Uruguay, Spain and the Antilles. Furthermore, her dissertation research included studies in the Netherlands, for example in Dutch forensic psychiatric patients and among the recruits in the Dutch Army ground forces. In 2006 she received the scientific award of the ‘Vereniging Medisch Tandheelkundige Interactie’ (VMTI). After her PhD graduation she worked as a psychologist-lecturer in the school for applied psychology, and she did research in the Dominican Republic for the Foundation Bocas Sanas Holanda-Maimón. In 2012, she has finished a research project among young mothers in collaboration with Selma Burrekers, practice ‘Mondhygiënistengroep Groningen’.

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