Senior dental students' training on oral health care for geriatric patients: an interventional study
Keywords:geriatric dentistry, oral health, dental education, dental students
Objective We aimed to evaluate knowledge, attitude, and practice of senior dental students by providing a course entitled "Geriatric Oral Health Care" at Tehran University of Medical Sciences. The increasing population of the elders in both developed and developing countries highlights the importance of geriatric dental education.
Methods The intervention group (n = 68) filled in a self-administered questionnaire about their background, knowledge, attitude, and practice of geriatric oral health care before and after the course. The course consisted of lectures, group discussions, and oral health examination and instructions for elderly patients. The control group completed the same questionnaire without receiving any courses on geriatric oral health care. Statistical analysis was performed using t-test, one-way ANOVA, chi-square test, and linear regression modeling.
Results Most of the participants (88.1%) had previously treated elderly patients and 35.1% had the experience of living with the elders. A considerable improvement was observed in both knowledge and self-reported practice of the students following the course (P < 0.05), while the students' attitude did not improve (P > 0.05).
Conclusions A short-term training program on geriatric oral health care has a great impact on the students' knowledge and practice, supporting the necessity of incorporating a geriatric dentistry course in the dental curriculum.
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