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J Dent Hyg. 2011 Spring;85(2):114-21. Epub 2011 May 16.

Assessment of the skills and education necessary for a baccalaureate- prepared dental hygienist to pursue an entry-level role in clinical research.

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  • 1University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.



To assess the skills and education perceived as necessary for a baccalaureate-prepared dental hygienist to pursue an entry-level role in clinical research.


An electronic survey was developed and distributed to 124 dental hygienists. Participants held at least a baccalaureate level of education and were currently involved in clinical research or had previous clinical research experience.


The survey response rate was 45% (n=56). Of the 56 respondents, 71% (n=40) met all inclusion criteria. The majority of respondents agreed that the University of Michigan Degree Completion and the Society of Clinical Research Associates pro gram competencies align with the skills and education needed to pursue an entry-level role in clinical research. Grant writing skills and the ability to prepare a manuscript for submission to a peer-reviewed journal were not perceived as necessary for an entry-level position.


Clinical research is a viable career option for dental hygienists. Obtaining a baccalaureate level of education will assist with acquiring entry-level clinical research skills. Additional education is necessary to expand clinical research opportunities. Both education and mentoring are integral components for pursuing a career in clinical research. Expanding upon the research-related competencies of dental hygiene program curricula is one avenue for achieving these recommendations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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