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Dental students' attitudes towards understanding of health, disability and disease in dental patients in Wales, UK: a foundation for special care dentistry

Redford, Harriett and Atkin, Philip 2017. Dental students' attitudes towards understanding of health, disability and disease in dental patients in Wales, UK: a foundation for special care dentistry. Journal of Disability and Oral Health 18 (2) , pp. 43-52.

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Abstract

Objectives: This cross-sectional study aimed to explore ideas relating to the wider medical knowledge and attitudes towards understanding of human health, disability and disease in dentistry amongst dental undergraduate students in different stages of the BDS programme at School of Dentistry, Cardiff University, Wales. Methods: A questionnaire relating to students’ attitudes, perceptions and knowledge concerning human health, disability and disease was distributed to first, third and final year students. The questionnaire used Likert scales to allow students to easily rate their attitudes on this topic. Results: Most students (99%) perceived human disease/clinical medical sciences for dentistry teaching to be relevant to dentistry. Students in their final year perceived themselves to be the most confident with their knowledge of human disease and their ability to use their knowledge when treating patients, compared to third and first year students. The majority of dental students surveyed perceived that dental patients would expect their dentist to have good understanding of their problems with heath, disability and disease and how these problems may impact on treatment choices (81%), but, that patients did not recognise that dental students learned about human health and disease (44%). Conclusions: The results indicate that dental students recognise that human diseases/clinical medical sciences teaching in dentistry are an essential component of undergraduate curriculum. The teaching provides students with increased knowledge of this topic area along with confidence in using this knowledge whilst treating patients. Students feel that as a dentist, they should have a good understanding of medical problems, disability and disease and how this impacts on treatment and also believe this is what patients expect. A sound understanding of patients’ medical history is key to safe practice, and identifying those patients who may need special consideration when planning dental treatments. The undergraduate human diseases/clinical medical sciences teaching in dentistry, which is later built upon with undergraduate teaching in Special Care Dentistry and sedation provides a good foundation for future safe clinical practice for all patients, whatever their special needs may be.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Dentistry
Publisher: Stephen Hancocks Publishing
ISSN: 1470-8558
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2019 13:02
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/103336

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