The Impact of Course Attendance on the Practice of Dentists

Victoria Firmstone, Alison Bullock, Antony Fielding, John Frame, Clive Gibson, J Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: This paper reports the impact of course attendance on the practice of dentists. METHOD: Phase One: A survey sent to all general dental practitioners (GDPs) in three deaneries in England. The survey included self-ratings of the impact of course attendance on practice. Phase Two: Interviews with 20 dentists before and two to three months after they had participated in a self-selected course. The response rate to the survey was 54% (n = 2082). Comparisons with national data showed no notable bias in the sample for gender, owners/partners and age/experience. An ordered logit model was used to explore the net effect of factors (including years' experience in general dental practice and gender) on dentists' ratings of course impact. RESULTS: Course attendance was judged to impact on practice. Impact rating was affected by participation rate and years' experience. Barriers to implementation included cost, time, NHS constraints and personal or staff issues. Impact was enhanced when selection of courses was based on learning needs although courses may also serve usefully to confirm current practice. CONCLUSION: There is much that dentists themselves can do to enhance the impact of courses, principally by reflecting on learning needs. They should be supported in the development of personal learning plans.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)773-777
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Volume196
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2004

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