Effectiveness of training senior dental students on oral health care for disabled patients
Studies in several countries have shown that dental students need an improved educational programme concerning management of disabled patients. We aimed to study the effect of providing a course entitled ‘Oral health care of disabled patients' on knowledge and attitudes of senior dental students at Tehran University.
Materials and methods
A total number of 70 students (n = 70) were asked to fill in a questionnaire regarding their background, knowledge and attitudes, before and after the programme. The intervention group of 36 students (n = 36) received a four-session course consisting of lectures, group discussion, screening and fluoride varnish provision for disabled patients. Statistical analysis was performed using the Mann–Whitney U-test, the chi-square test and linear regression modelling.
Amongst all the participants, 36% had previously treated a disabled patient and 58% believed that merely specialists should treat disabled patients. Twenty-seven percentage of participants believed that hospital is the only proper facility for treating disabled patients. A considerable improvement in both knowledge and attitudes of students was observed following the intervention (P < 0.05).
Our findings indicate that a short-term training programme on oral health care has an immense impact on students' adherence to treating disabled patients. These results provide evidence to support the necessity of enrichment of the dental curriculum regarding oral health care for disabled patients.