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An evaluation of outreach dental education

Smith, Michael (2007) An evaluation of outreach dental education. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Introduction: Dental schools are developing new curricula, with primary care outreach training placements complementing hospital-based training. Objective: To evaluate undergraduate dental outreach training. Design: A mixed-method study phased to match a developing programme of outreach training. The first phase used qualitative methods to identify key educational outcomes for use as principal variables in the second phase, a randomised controlled trial. Intervention: Block placements of 5-6 weeks in existing primary care clinics for undergraduate students to work supervised by local dentists while providing care to patients. The intervention took place within a traditional dental curriculum. Methods: Qualitative methods included semi-structured interviews, content analysis and respondent validation. Parallel studies gathered placement staff and student perceptions and interpretations of their recent outreach training experiences. The randomised controlled trial (n=49) used a hospital-based control, had two primary variables: confidence in providing everyday care and competence in treatment planning. Confidence was self-assessed. Competence was assessed using a standard simulated patient and viva. Results: Key benefits of the programme identified qualitatively by stakeholders included: the workplace setting; increased clinical experience; nursing support; and a broader view of dentistry. Effective communication was identified as a critical success factor. Both stakeholder groups found unanticipated benefits. In the trial the groups were similar at baseline. The outreach group perceived their confidence to be increased more than the control group (P=0.05). Treatment planning scores were also greater for the outreach group for capturing a social history (P=0.01) and the appropriateness of treatment planning (P=0.01). Conclusions: Dental outreach training in primary care settings is positively regarded by students and placement staff. A five-week block placement within a traditional curriculum is more effective than dental hospital training alone in improving students' confidence in clinical situations and their competence in treatment planning.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Other academic unit: Department of Oral Health and Development
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.444582
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2016 14:29
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2016 14:29
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10298

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