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J Dent Educ. 2009 Nov;73(11):1293-305.

Evidence-based patient education: knowledge transfer to endodontic patients.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesia, Stanford University, 450 Broadway St., Pavilion A, MC 5340, Redwood City, CA 94403, USA. jsorrell@stanford.edu


Evidence-based treatment is emphasized in oral health care, but there has been less focus on empirically demonstrating the effects of patient education. Attempts to educate patients must be empirically demonstrated in order to provide evidence-based guidance to practitioners and educators. We conducted two studies that assessed information acquisition during five-minute audiovisual films on oral hygiene procedures, endodontic procedures, and fear about pain during root canal therapy. A fifteen-item Dental Knowledge Questionnaire (DKQ), with three subscales each focusing on the content of one of the films, was developed and psychometrically evaluated. Study 1 included 268 undergraduates; study 2 involved 104 endodontic patients. Participants completed the DKQ, viewed one of the three films, and repeated the questionnaire. The effects of information on knowledge were assessed using 3 (film group) X 3 (subscale of the DKQ) X 2 (time) repeated measures ANOVAs. Scores improved in a content-specific fashion relevant to the film viewed among undergraduates, F(4, 263)=211.33, p<.001, partial eta(2)=.62 and endodontic patients, F(4, 99)=87.22, p<.001, partial eta(2)=.63. The results provide evidence for using brief informational film as an efficacious method to increase patient knowledge, at least in the short term. The DKQ is proposed as a tool to assess patient knowledge in the arenas of oral hygiene and endodontics.

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