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Keywords:

  • patient-educator;
  • education;
  • dentistry

Abstract

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Materials and methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Conclusion
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. References

Ever since 2006, Nantes University dental educators have started organising lectures led by the mother of a young patient suffering from ectodermic dysplasia (patient-educator) to help second-year students to better understand how important it is for their future dental work to better understand basic sciences. In this study, we have analysed this training experience on students' motivation. For this purpose, students were asked to complete questionnaires 10 days after the patient-educator's lecture (early assessment; n = 193) and 4 years later, during the last year of their dental studies (delayed assessment; n = 47). Moreover, 3 years after the first lecture, we analysed the ability of students to diagnose a mother carrying the ectodermic dysplasia genetic disorder, using a case-based learning exercise with a patient showing dental features similar to those exposed by the patient-educator (measure of knowledge; n = 42). Ten days after the lecture, the early assessment shows that all the students were interested in the lecture and 59% of the students declared being motivated to find out more about genetics whilst 54% declared the same thing about embryology courses. Moreover, 4 years later, 67% of the students remembered the patient-educator's lecture a little or very well. Three years after the course, 83% of the students diagnosed ectodermal dysplasia whilst studying the case-based example that listed typical dental phenotypes. In conclusion, this study shows that this original educational approach enhances dental students' motivation in learning basic sciences and that patient-educators could offer many benefits for students and patients.


Introduction

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Materials and methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Conclusion
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. References

Dental studies in France involve six academic years that lead to a Doctor's Degree in Dental Surgery. Teaching basic sciences is provided by the relevant science departments throughout the first 2 years of the course. Due to the fact that the first year of studies ends with a very competitive examination, students are strongly motivated to learn these scientific subjects because only the best are allowed to pursue their dental studies (students are selected for dentistry by their ranking at the exam). A basic training in more specific medical and scientific knowledge for their future dental practice is taught to second year students. Unfortunately, these students are often not interested in basic sciences such as dental embryology or genetics. Because case-based learning is not part of the basic science lectures, students often do not understand the benefits of learning these fundamental sciences for their future patients.

In the education of medical students, there is increasing evidence of an effective role of patients in the training of students or patients with chronic diseases [1-3]. They are called patient-partners, expert patients, patient trainers or patient-educators. Patient-educators who provide expertise during medical training are different from patients in self-management programmes that enable the patients to get educated about their condition or learn relevant information about their chronic diseases [1, 4]. For students, being in contact with patients-educators plays a role in the development of clinical reasoning, communication skills, professional attitudes, empathic understanding and an individualised approach to the patient [5, 6]. It also motivates students by promoting relevance and providing context [6, 7] even though, most reviews on the subject have highlighted the many remaining gaps in knowledge about patient roles in medical education and the need for further research in this field [2, 3, 6, 8, 9]. For this reason, and to encourage and motivate students to learn both medical and dental basic sciences, we have explored the effects of an original training experience with a patient-educator in dental education.

In our study, this patient-educator is a mother who exposed to the students her personal history showing how the dentist's ignorance about the genetic transmission of diseases could be harmful to patients and how good knowledge of tooth development could help dentists explain the disease to patients. The mother is a carrier of ectodermic dysplasia. Ectodermic dysplasia includes 200 rare genetic diseases involving abnormalities in tissues from ectodermic origin, specifically sweat glands, hair, nails and teeth. Certain patients can be affected by oligodontia or anodontia (less or no teeth) and when they are present, teeth are often conical. Hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, also known as the ‘Christ–Siemens–Touraine syndrome’, is caused by mutations in the Ectodysplasin-A (EDA) gene, which are inherited in an X-linked recessive pattern. This disease occurs far more frequently in males because they have only one X chromosome. Females who receive a copy of the mutated gene from both parents also have clinical signs of the disease. Women with only one altered copy of the gene are called carriers of this genetic disease. In about 70% of cases, carriers of hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia show only certain features of the disease. These signs and symptoms are usually mild, thin hair and brittle, subtle dental abnormalities (some teeth are conical and a small number of teeth are missing)[10, 11]. For this reason, it is possible for a dentist to refer a suspected carrier of hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia to a geneticist to confirm or refute the diagnosis. Unfortunately, dental surgeons do not often come across this type of patients and they may omit this investigation. This lack of examination is caused by ignorance and may have serious consequences, because a carrier could transmit the altered copy of the gene to her son. Because the newborn has no teeth and frequently no hair, hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia is often not diagnosed whereas hyperthermia, or inappropriate treatment of other problems generated by the disease, could severely impair the health of the baby. Making dentists aware of this problem is necessary to diagnose a potential carrier of genetic disorder.

In this study, we aim to assess the impact of the lecture given by a patient-educator, a carrier of hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia with classical weak signs of the disease, on the education of dental students. For this purpose, we use the Kirkpatrick model, one of the most widely used evaluation models [12]. According to this model, the assessment of the training is carried out on four levels: reaction, learning, behaviour and results. The first objective of this study was to measure the students' feelings regarding this experimental lecture and its educational benefit. Questionnaires concerning the patient-educator' s lecture were handed out to students 10 days (early assessment) and 4 years after the lecture (delayed assessment). These evaluations correspond to Level 1 of the Kirkpatrick model [12]. To assess Level 2 of Kirkpatrick's model, we evaluated the dental students' knowledge and attitudes towards an academic clinical case of a carrier of ectodermal dysplasia. This test (knowledge measurement) was carried out on a group made of students who had been taught by the patient-educator 3 years earlier and who were not the same students that had to fill in the delayed assessment questionnaire.

Materials and methods

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Materials and methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Conclusion
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. References

Educational context of the patient-educator's lecture

Instruction in the basic sciences such as genetic and tooth development is provided during the second year of dental studies through traditional lectures held in amphitheatres followed by tutorials. The educational goal of this basic science course includes a better understanding of the processes that contribute to the onset of a genetic disturbance and its familial transmission in tooth development. The mode of transmission in X-linked recessive pattern is taught, as well as the role of the EDA gene. At Nantes dental school, the sixty-minute lecture by a patient-educator is scheduled at the end of the basic science course. In this study, the patient-educator is the president of the French Organization of Ectodermal Dysplasia. She was chosen because her personal history illustrates the lack of knowledge on basic sciences by dentists and more specifically in genetics and tooth development. During a 1-hour talk, she told the students that her dentist knew the disease but was unaware of the existence of carriers of the disease. In fact, the dentist told her that even though she and her daughter did show subtle signs of hypohydrotic ectodermal dysplasia, he never evoked the possibility that they could be carriers of this syndrome transmitted in an X-linked recessive pattern. In addition, the patient-educator said that because her son had not been diagnosed immediately, he was inappropriately treated. She explained to the students all the complex medical care (ophthalmology, dermatology, gastrointestinal enterology, etc.) of a child with ectodermal dysplasia and the different precautions to take. Finally, she added that, once the diagnosis was made, it was difficult to find a dentist who knew how to treat the specific tooth problems of her children, or to explain the origin of agenesis and conical tooth shape. The lecture ended with the roles of patient organisations and specifically the French Organization of Ectodermic Dysplasia as well as the research goals especially in the implementation of new treatments.

Student recruitment, planning and design of the study

Early assessment

Over a 4-year period, 254 students were registered for the second year of dental studies at the French Dental School of Nantes. Because in France, attendance of lectures is not compulsory, only the 193 students of the four successive cohorts who attended the meeting were asked 10 days later (early assessment), to complete a questionnaire regarding their feelings about the patient-educator lecture. The questionnaire was designed to assess whether this type of education experience was of interest to the students and whether it had modified their motivation to learn basics sciences. Students were also encouraged to add personal comments.

Knowledge measurement

Diagnosis and treatments of all dental anomalies associated or not with genetic disorders were taught during the third and the fourth year of dental studies. To evaluate knowledge about the specific pathology described by the patient-educator, one cohort of students who had attended the lecture 3 years before (5th year students) was asked to complete a questionnaire dealing with their ability to diagnose a carrier of ectodermal dysplasia (n = 42). The answers of these students were compared to those of a control group composed of 5th year students from the French Dental School of Clermont-Ferrand who did not attend the patient-educator's lesson (n = 53). In this examination, a clinical situation was proposed to the students by a teacher in a tutorial without any correlation to genetic diseases or pathological courses to avoid influencing the students' answers or their reflections. Students had 15 min to complete the questionnaire with open questions about the clinical case and the questionnaires were immediately collected. This clinical case exposed a situation similar to that of the patient-educator: a mother and her daughter with some missing or conical teeth consult for dental advice. The questionnaire aimed at evaluating the students' attitude towards a possible additional clinical examination(s), further question(s) asked to the patient, advice given, diagnosis and proposed treatment.

A group of teachers had determined a list of key concepts that students should propose regarding this clinical case: investigation of abnormalities of skin appendages, sweating, tears and other general health problems, investigation of medical family history, prescription of oral radiography, examination for differential diagnosis, prescription of a consultation with genetic specialists, investigation into other general health problems and a briefing about genetic diseases, risks for other children, proposed treatments, diagnosis of ectodermal dysplasia, diagnosis of other syndromes. The percentage of students that provided the correct answers for each key concept and the percentage of correct answers per student were calculated.

Assessment delayed

A group of students registered for the 6th year of dental studies and who had attended the patient-educator lecture 4 years earlier, were asked to fill in a questionnaire evaluating their opinion of this educational experience (n = 37). This cohort was different from the one tested for knowledge measurement. This questionnaire assessed whether students remembered the patient-educator lecture and their opinion on its role on their genetic disease knowledge acquisition. The questionnaire consisted of multiple-choice questions, Likert scales questions, and open-ended questions concerning their opinion.

For surveys about early and delayed feelings, after an oral explanation of the aims of the study, questionnaires were handed out to students at the end of a lecture and were completed and returned immediately. Giving back the filled-in questionnaires was seen as the students' consent to participate in the study and each decision not to give it back was respected. All questionnaires were anonymous and therefore could not be linked. Microsoft Office Excel 2007 software was used for data collection and analysis.

The discrepancy between the 6th year student numbers (one cohort, n = 37) and the 2nd year student numbers (four cohorts over a 4-year period; n = 193) have several explanations: First, the number of students registered for the second-year of Nantes Dental School has increased in the last 4 years (about one or two more students). Second, during the study, about 10 students repeated the second, the third and/or the fourth year of dental studies and did not reach the 5th or 6th degrees in time to be included in the study. Finally, before the 6th year, some students left Nantes University and carried on their studies as residents in another University.

Results

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Materials and methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Conclusion
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. References

Response rates to questionnaires

The response-rates to all the questionnaires were high: 100% for the questionnaires handed out to the students of five successive cohorts of 2nd years who had attended the patient-educator lecture (193), 100% of the questionnaires given to the 5th year students (42) and to the 6th year students (46) were returned.

Early assessment of the patient-educator lecture

The primary goal of this study was to evaluate the benefit of the patient-educator lecture in terms of motivation to learn about genetics and embryology. Results from the early assessment 10 days after the patient-educator lecture revealed that this lecture was very positive for students (Table 1). Most students were interested in it, found it useful for their studies and believed that the patient-educator should keep intervening in the future. Only half of the students (47%) found that the patient-educator illustrated the lessons of genetics and embryology. Regarding the impact of the patient-educator lecture on their motivation to learn about genetics and embryology, only 10% and 9% of students found that the patient-educator did not increase their motivation. Moreover, 69% of the students thought that the patient-educator enhanced their desire to become a dentist and only 7% answered that this lecture did not have any effect on their vocation.

Table 1. Early students assessment of the patient-educator's intervention 10 days after the meeting (n = 193)
 Yes (%)A little (%)No (%)No answer (%)
Were you interested in the patient-educator's lecture?811900
Do you think that the patient-educator's lecture is useful?732520.5
Do you think that the patient-educator's training experience should be repeated next year for the 2nd year dental students ?791921
Do you think that the patient-educator's lecture illustrates the embryology and genetics courses?474582
Do you think that the patient-educator's lecture increases your motivation to learn genetics?593563
Do you think that the patient-educator's lecture increases your motivation to learn embryology?544065.5
Do you think that the patient-educator's lecture increases your desire to become a dentist?692471

Amongst the 193 questionnaires, only 39 comments were added by students. Table 2A reports the analysis of these comments. Most of them were positive (66%). In the negative comments (n = 2), students confirmed their lack of interest in the patient-educator's lecture. Neutral comments (n = 11) were those from which the students expressed comments that were neither truly positive nor truly negative. Amongst the positive comments (n = 26), 15.4% are linked to emotions (students employing adjectives linked to emotion, feeling, sensitivity, etc.), 53.8% are connected to learning (students employing words about learning or motivation) and 26.9% are related to the two concepts (Table 2B).

Table 2. (A) Analysis of the students comments following the patient-educator's meeting (n = 193) and (B) analysis of the positive comments (n = 26)
 Number of students
(A)
Positive comments26
Neutral comments11
Negative comments2
No comment154
 Number and percentage of positive comments (%)
(B)
Positive comments in relation to emotion4 (15.4)
Positive comments in relation to learning14 (53.8)
Positive comments in relation to emotion and learning7 (26.9)
Other positive comments1 (3.8)

Delayed assessment about the conference of the patient-educator

At the end of their dental studies, 87% of the 6th year students have recollections (very well or a little) of the patient-educator lecture that was given 4 years before (Table 3A). Amongst them, 51% believe that the lecture was beneficial compared to traditional instruction (Table 3B). When students were asked to specify their ideas about the benefit provided by the patient-educator through open questions, 47.4% answered ‘by illustrating a real situation’, ‘by helping to memorise lessons’ (36.8%) or ‘increase knowledge’ (31.6%). In addition, students thought that the conference enhanced their empathy towards the patient (21%) and developed their ability to diagnose ectodermal dysplasia (21%) (Fig. 1A). In addition, amongst the 37 students who filled in the questionnaire, 43% answered ‘totally agree’ or ‘slightly agree’ with the statement: ‘The patient-educator lecture was useful’. The answers to the open question ‘useful for what?’ were: ‘to increase the ability to diagnose a genetic pathology’ (43.8%), ‘to increase the knowledge about genetic pathology’ (25%), ‘to illustrate the traditional course’ (18.7%) (Fig. 1B).

Table 3. Students delayed assessment of the patient-educator intervention at the end of their dental studies (n = 37)
 Very wellA littleNot at allNo Answer
(A)
Do you remember the lecture given by the mother of a child suffering ectodermal dysplasia?12 (33%)19 (51%)6 (16%)0 (0%)
 YesNoNo answer
(B)
Do you think the patient-educator's lecture was beneficial compared to traditional instruction?19 (51%)13 (35%)5 (14%)
 Completely agreeSlightly agreeSlightly disagreeCompletely disagreeNo answer
(C)
The patient-educator's lecture was useful.4 (11%)12 (32%)7 (19%)5 (14%)9 (24%)
image

Figure 1. Analysis of the student's comments given in the delayed assessment, (A) Answers to the open question about beneficial effects (n = 19) and (B) answers to the open question about usefulness (n = 16).

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Some positive comments were added to the questionnaire such as ‘It was very striking’ ‘Very interesting’, ‘I remember that, it was very nice’, ‘I was emotionally touched by the mother because she explained that she struggled to find appropriate dental treatment for her son’, ‘Testimony that leaves a lasting impression, very educational’. There were a few negative comments such as ‘Not enough photographs of her son’, ‘Interesting at the time but soon forgotten’.

Knowledge regarding genetic transmission of X-linked ectodermal dysplasia

To evaluate the students' knowledge regarding ectodermal dysplasia, students (n = 42) enrolled in their fifth year of dental studies were asked to complete a questionnaire with open questions about a clinical case. Results show that 83.3% of the students offered a diagnosis of ectodermal dysplasia and half of them suggested key concepts like investigations into skin appendages (57%) or sweat and tear abnormalities (47%), whereas none of the students of the fifth year of the French Dental School of Clermont-Ferrand (control group, n = 53) evoked this specific disease or any other genetic disorder. In addition, 64% of students provided information about genetic disease or specialists but only 7.1% informed the patient of a potential risk in the event of another pregnancy. On the other hand, concerning usual dental skills, our data showed that 76.2% of students investigated family medical history compared to 73.6% of students in the control group and 95.2% prescribed oral radiography compared to 100% of students in the control group (Table 4).

Table 4. Comparison of the number and percentages of students who mentioned expected responses to the clinical situation between experimental cohort (5th year students of Nantes University who attended patient-educator's lesson; n = 42) and control group (5th year students of Clermont-Ferrand University who did not attended patient-educator's lesson; n = 53)
Expected responsesPatient-educator group (n = 42) (%)Control group (n = 53) (%)
1: Investigation of abnormalities of skin appendages24 (57.14)0 (0)
2: Investigation of abnormalities of sweat and tears20 (47.61)0 (0)
3: Investigation of medical familial history32 (76.2)39 (73.6)
4: Prescription of oral radiography40 (95.2)53 (100)
5: Prescription of a genetic consultation23 (54.7)2 (3.8)
6: Investigation of other general health problems9 (21.4)15 (28.3)
7: Information about genetic diseases or specialist27 (64.3)2 (3.8)
8: Information about the replacement of missing teeth11 (26.2)16 (30.2)
9: Information about potential risks if other birth3 (7.14)0 (0)
10: Diagnosis of ectodermal dysplasia35 (83.33)0 (0)
11: Diagnosis of other genetic disorders13 (30.9)23 (43.4)
12: Differential diagnosis14 (33.3)31 (58.5)
13: Treatment proposal with implants37 (88.1)53 (100)
14: Treatment proposal with fixed prosthesis37 (88.1)47 (88.7)
15: Treatment proposal with denture22 (52.4)39 (73.6)
16: Proposition of orthodontic treatment14 (33.3)18 (34)
Total of correct responses/students8.6/16 (54)6.4 (39.9)

Discussion

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Materials and methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Conclusion
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. References

Our data highlight, for the first time, the benefits of a patient-educator lecture for students learning dentistry. It is well known that patients are essential to the clinical training of dental students but here we have demonstrated the feasibility and impact of an educational intervention on basic courses led by patient-educators. The educational activities of teaching medicine or dental surgery aim at helping the students acquire all the skills needed to take care of patients. For medical education, a growing number of studies have demonstrated the considerable benefits of involving patients in the teaching and assessment of clinical skills [1, 5-7, 9, 13]. Most of these educational experiments discuss the role of patients in teaching examination skills whereas others focus on the role of patients in teaching children's developmental disabilities, dementia or cancer or in teaching communication skills. Moreover, patients may bring knowledge to the psycho-social aspect of the disease that is not covered by traditional teaching methods [2]. Some other types of studies have been performed to compare traditional training to patient-educators. Those comparative studies did not reveal any significant differences between the two methods in terms of knowledge [14-16], but students learn faster and have greater empathy for patients [17-19]. In addition to knowledge, students also learn emotional skills. Being face to face with a patient who shares his or her knowledge, sensations and emotions, without any judgment, helps the student to memorise more quickly and to develop emotional skills [20]. To our knowledge no study on the impact of patient's teaching has been published in the field of dental education.

In our study, the positive impacts of this educational experience were revealed by the results of the questionnaire given to the students 10 days after the lecture (early assessment). In fact all of them declare that the lecture of the patient-educator was interesting, 97% of them state that the patient-educator's lecture is useful and should be repeated next year. In addition, most of the students think that this lecture has increased their interest in learning basic sciences like embryology and genetics. Our questionnaire included only three levels of response and was therefore insufficient for the accurate analysis of the impression of students. Nevertheless, the very high number of positive answers and the similarity of the data when answers of three consecutive second-year cohorts were compared (data not shown) support the value of such questionnaires. Other studies have also shown that this kind of lecture with the intervention of a patient-educator is highly rated by students [1, 13].

The patient-educator highlighted the fact that the life of her son was impacted by her dentist's lack of knowledge regarding the detection of a carrier of hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia. She emphasised the importance of the carrier's diagnosis by giving information on the high percentage of sudden infant death amongst members of the hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia patients association. The patient-educator's goal was to increase empathy for patients by sharing her experience and emotions [20]. She was not briefed before the lecture on what she should talk about in connection to the genetic element of student learning but she was chosen after a talk that she gave to alert dentists about her condition. In this conference she exposed, with emotion, the consequences of the ignorance of embryology and genetics through the case of her son. In other studies dealing with the role of patients in medical education, patient-educators appeared as facilitators of student's development of professional skills [2, 8, 9, 21]. Data obtained with the delayed assessment revealed that, after 4 years, the majority of students (84%) remembered the patient-educator lecture (very well or a little). Half of the students of this cohort declared that compared to traditional training, the patient-educator offered benefits in terms of knowledge, humanity and they thought that the patient-educator's lecture was useful. Interestingly, immediately after the lesson only 47% of the students judged that the lecture of the patient-educator was an accurate illustration of the dental embryology course whereas after 4 years the majority of the responses to the open question about the benefit of this experience evoked an illustration of the basic science course. A formal integration of this lecture into the dental curriculum could connect the patient-educator lesson to the objectives of the learning of embryology and genetics more clearly [2]. To sum up, we hypothesise that the patient-educator allows students, especially those in the second year of their studies who have not, as yet, any clinical experience, to make the direct link between the teaching they have received and their future professional activity. Although other studies doubted the long-term effectiveness of patient involvement [2], our study also shows that this patient-centred learning experience may remain even 4 years later.

Clinical reasoning is an intellectual activity in which the practitioner synthesises the information received from the clinical case, knowledge and experience to diagnose and handle the patient. In our study, a clinical case similar to the situation described by the patient-educator 3 years before was proposed to students during a lesson concerning denture. Our data provides clear evidence that the students taught by the patient-educator could efficiently identify the limited dental signs of hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia and then diagnose the carrier, even if the ability to solve this specific clinical problem cannot predict with certainty their ability to decipher another genetic diseases. It is impossible to decipher the real impact of the patient-educator on the knowledge of this specific mode of inheritance because we can't prevent students from speaking about the patient-educator to those who were absent from the conference. For this reason a control group (students of Nantes Dental School who had no information regarding the patient-educator) cannot be incorporated. The same clinical case was proposed to a cohort of students from another university who were not taught by the patient-educator. The replies of these students to the open questionnaire are similar concerning the treatment of the dental disorder but none of them evoked the diagnosis of ectodermal dysplasia or genetic disorder. As in Nantes, genetics are taught in the second year of dental studies in this other university and this clinical case is never mentioned during the third or the fourth years. However, it is well known that teaching with patients is particularly positive concerning the social, psychological, financial and emotional aspects of a disease [2]. We hypothesize that the emotions generated by the lecture of a mother having a son with a severe disease contributes to increased learning. The emotion caused by a testimony should be of different categories: anger, joy, sadness, fear, disgust, etc. The memory of these emotions can automatically and unconsciously help to learn and subsequently help to make a diagnosis. These emotions may turn into an experience which is taken into account in future decisions. Our hypothesis is strengthened by the comments formulated by the dental students. In fact, 40% and 55% of the positive comments collected, respectively, 10 days and 4 years after the lecture were linked to emotion. Students were touched by the patient-educator and realised that their ignorance or misunderstanding of certain aspects of health could have serious consequences.

According to the hierarchical model for assessing training of Kirkpatrick [12], our study corresponds to Level 1 (reaction) and Level 2 (learning). It evaluated the reactions of students to the feelings and learning concerning a patient suffering from a genetic disease. It would be interesting now to complete the framework of Level 3 of the model. Level 3 evaluates the transfer of knowledge in clinical situation with patients. This assessment could possibly be performed within the framework of an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) with the presence of a simulated or real patient. Nevertheless, our study highlights the impact of a patient-educator in dental studies. We clearly revealed that patients explaining the consequences of a misreading of medical lessons could generate emotion and subsequently empathy (whatever the problem exposed is). Moreover, we have demonstrated that this kind of lecture could enhance the motivation to learn basic sciences and perhaps all subjects because the patient concretely illustrates the impact of learning on their future professional life.

Conclusion

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Materials and methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Conclusion
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. References

For the first time, our data have demonstrated the usefulness of patient-educators in dental teaching. We have demonstrated that this educational experience motivates students in their learning thanks to the contextualization of genetics and dental embryology. The emotions and empathy developed in this situation can thereafter help students in their professional life. This experience highlights the patient–practitioner relationship and also demonstrates that patients should be involved in the training of specific diseases in dentistry. Even if a patient involvement for all oro-facial diseases is inconceivable, the analysis of the students' feelings and knowledge through this study has clearly shown the benefits of this type of education.

Acknowledgements

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Materials and methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Conclusion
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. References

The authors would like to thank all the students that have taken part to this study and have declared no conflict of interest. They also would like to thank Mrs Gaëlle Ducos who reviewed the English of this article.

References

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Materials and methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Conclusion
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. References