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J Dent Hyg. 2011 Fall;85(4):340-7. Epub 2011 Nov 11.

Financial management practices and attitudes of dental hygienists: a descriptive study.

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Fones School of Dental Hygiene, University of Bridgeport, USA.



The purpose of this study was to determine the financial management goals and practices of registered dental hygienists, their satisfaction with their current financial situations and their attitudes about savings, investments and retirement.


A 40 question electronic survey was completed by 388 registered dental hygienists. The descriptive instrument assessed financial practices, attitudes, goals and beliefs, retirement mindset, savings habits, debt tendencies and demographic characteristics of respondents. Statistical analyses compared respondents' beliefs about their financial independence and security with their current financial practices. Analyses included: independent samples t-tests, chi-square analysis and ANOVA.


Most dental hygienists believed themselves to be financially independent and reported satisfaction with their current financial situation. Significant relationships existed between respondents' satisfaction with their current financial situations and their financial attitudes and practices (saving regularly and having limited debt). Those who indicated they had personally saved for retirement were more likely to view these savings as their largest source of income during retirement, as opposed to Social Security benefits. A majority agreed that financial management education should be included in the dental hygiene curriculum, and that they would attend a continuing education course on the subject if offered.


The results of this study suggest that hygienists have confidence in their ability to provide secure financial futures for themselves. Hygienists who practiced sound financial planning, such as adhering to monthly budgets, having wills, lowering debt and saving regularly, reported a higher level of financial security than those who did not. Most respondents expressed interest in receiving education about financial management through the dental hygiene curriculum and continuing education courses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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