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J Allied Health. 2011 Spring;40(1):19-24.

Integration of an oral health curriculum into a physician assistant program.

Author information

1
Department of Dental Hygiene, Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmount, Wichita, KS 67260-0043, USA. Kelly.anderson@wichita.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of the study was twofold: to evaluate the implementation of an oral health curriculum to physician assistant (PA) students through interdisciplinary education with dental hygiene faculty; and identify which parts were most important in changing the PA students' knowledge regarding oral health.

METHODS:

Didactic and laboratory sections were offered. Data collected were from a pre/post-test of 24 items answered on a 5-point Likert scale, reflecting an attitudinal measure of students' (n = 43) ability to apply and understand the oral health curriculum. Chi-squared analyses determined if a relationship existed between answers on the same instrument before and after instruction.

RESULTS:

Students perceived they improved their level of understanding on all topics. Data were organized from the largest change in perceived competency (≥ 70%) from pre to post-test (8 items), moderately changed (60-69%) (6 items), and least changed (35-59%) (10 items). The items with the largest change included monitor impact of medications on oral tissues, recognize caries and oral lesions that require referral, and recognize signs/symptoms of gingivitis and periodontal disease.

CONCLUSIONS:

The curriculum enhanced the perceived oral health competency of these PA students and their ability to recognize oral signs/symptoms that may impact a patient's general health.

PMID:
21399848
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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