The effectiveness of dental postgraduate courses – are we doing the right thing?

Absi, Eli G.; Drage, N. A.; Thomas, H. S.; Nash, E. S.; Newcombe, R. G.
September 2006
British Dental Journal;9/9/2006 Supplement, Vol. 201, p19
Academic Journal
Objective To evaluate the effectiveness of dental postgraduate one-day courses in radiation protection in Wales.Design Analysis of dentists' performance pre- and immediately post-course training.Subjects and methods Two hundred and eighty-five general dental practitioners took part in eight courses. Identical, validated multiple choice questionnaires were completed anonymously at the start and at the end of each course. Fifty (+62.5%) or above was regarded as a satisfactory standard. Two hundred and fifty-three (89%) paired morning-afternoon records were completed and analysed. Data was compared to that of similar courses five years earlier.Results The mean (SD) pre- and post-course percentage scores were 33.8 (13.5) and 63.6 (14.6). The mean improvement was 29.8 percentage points (SD 11.7). The pre-post correlation was +0.66. At baseline only six (2.4%) of the 253 practitioners achieved the preset standard. After the course, 146 (57.7%) did so, an improvement of 55.3% (95% CI 48.9-61.3%). The final score and score gain were slightly higher in more recent graduates. The increase in proportion attaining the standard following training was 11.9% higher for IRMER than for POPUMET (p <0.001).Conclusion The level of knowledge in radiation protection was very low at baseline. Whilst attending the approved course led to considerable improvement, it did not invariably result in a satisfactory level of knowledge in fundamental radiation physics and regulations. The prescribed standard was achieved by less than 60% of the attendees. The IRMER course was significantly more effective than its POPUMET predecessor.


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