Dental Students' Attitudes Toward the Design of a Computer-Based Treatment Planning Tool
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The purpose of this study was to identify and evaluate the attitudes of a cohort of fourth- and fifth-year dental students (n=53) at Griffith University in Australia to a proposed computer-based Case Study and Treatment Planning (CSTP) tool. The tool would allow students to work through the process of comprehensive, multidisciplinary treatment planning for patients in a structured and logical manner. A questionnaire was designed to investigate the students' perceived needs, attitudes, and factors deemed to be important in the design of such a tool. Students responded on a seven-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). The survey was supplemented by two focus groups, one of fourth-year and one of fifth-year students. The survey results indicated strong agreement that there is a need for such a tool (fourth-year mean=6.24; fifth-year mean=5.75) and the likelihood that it would be used after hours and for extra treatment planning practice (fourth-year mean=5.82; fifth-year mean=5.45). The themes that emerged from the focus groups revealed students' agreement that a CSTP tool would be beneficial both for training and for faculty assessment of students' treatment planning skills. The type of concerns raised included whether a rigid treatment planning template might hamper the flexibility needed to deal with complex patient cases. Additionally, there was some concern that students' personal interaction with tutors would be reduced if this mode of computer-based treatment planning were to be used exclusively. In conclusion, the overall attitude of dental students was positive towards a CSTP tool. This study's findings provide guidance as to how such software could be developed and which features to include.
Journal of Dental Education
Copyright 2011 Journal of Dental Education (JDE). The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Dentistry not elsewhere classified