Send to

Choose Destination
J Dent Hyg. 2016 Jun;90 Suppl 1:5-14.

Cultural Competency in Dental Hygiene Curricula.



The purpose of this study was to determine the degree to which U.S. dental hygiene programs are incorporating cultural competency education into the dental hygiene curriculum and to identify associated program characteristics.


A 19 item survey was electronically administered to all 334 U.S. dental hygiene program directors. The questionnaire solicited information on teaching and evaluation methodologies relative to cultural competency education (CCE), as well as director's perceptions and program demographic information.


An overall response rate of 27% was obtained. The majority of participating programs (92%) reported incorporating CCE into the curriculum in some form. Most responding directors indicated that CCE has been effectively integrated into the curriculum. A variety of curricular methods are being employed to teach CCE with lectures being the most common method utilized. Results of this study suggest that an overwhelming number of responding programs (98%) participate in community outreach/service learning projects. However, nearly half (42%) indicated that their students are not evaluated for culture competency knowledge, skills and attitudes.


These findings imply that responding programs are incorporating CCE into the curriculum using a variety of teaching methodologies with an emphasis on community outreach/service learning projects. It is important to consider whether or not community outreach/service learning projects improve dental hygiene students' cultural competency skills, attitudes and knowledge. Future research efforts should aim to describe the value and effectiveness of such programs at achieving cultural competence.


cultural competence; curriculum; dental hygiene; diversity

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center