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J Dent Educ. 2013 Apr;77(4):476-84.

Comparing methods of cultural competency training and assessment in a predoctoral dental course.

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Ostrow School of Dentistry, University of Southern California, 925 West 34th Street, DEN 4202, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA.


Cultural competence is considered an important skill in health care delivery; accordingly, it requires an effective and efficient course of training. Web-based teaching has increasingly been used in medical education with a few reports also in the dental field; however, there is a lack of evidence of its full application and usefulness. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of web-based case scenarios in comparison with seminar-based training to deliver cultural competency material to the health care provider in training. Eighty-one fourth-year dental students attending a mandatory Special Patients' Care clinical rotation were randomly allocated to receive first either a session of seminar or web-based case scenarios on cultural competence, with all students receiving a manual containing information about various cultures and the issues of cultural diversity on the first day of the training. All students underwent pre- and post-training examinations, which were conducted using a multiple-choice questionnaire and a self-analytic evaluation. Both the seminar and the web-based case scenarios resulted in significant improvement (p≤0.001) of scores comparing the pre- and posttest outcomes. Training either as a seminar or a series of web-based case scenarios combined with written material presented in a manual was found to increase students' cultural competence.

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