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Continuing dental education: evaluation of the effectiveness of a disinfection and decontamination course


Jon G. Cowpe
School of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education
Cardiff University
Heath Park
Cardiff CF14 4XY, UK
Tel: +44 2920 744 317
Fax: +44 2920 743 960


Aim:  To evaluate a disinfection and decontamination dental postgraduate course run by the Wales Dental Postgraduate Deanery between 2008 and 2010.

Methods:  Pre- and post-course multiple choice questionnaires were completed by 1177 course attendees. Mean scores before and after participation on the training course were compared and analysed.

Results:  Mean pre-course score was 45.3%, rising to 87.0% in the post-course assessment, reflecting an improvement of 41.8%. Prior to training, 30.7% achieved a satisfactory score of 13/20 (65%) compared to 98.3% on completion of training. Dental technicians were found to score significantly lower than other occupation groups both before and after course attendance. Decade of graduation had no effect on results. Theoretical microbiology was the question area which showed least improvement.

Conclusion:  Attending the disinfection and decontamination course significantly improved participants’ knowledge. Theoretical microbiology, as a topic area, may be targeted for improvements in future courses to improve results further.