Author(s): Best HA, Messer LB
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Continuing education is incumbent upon dentists as health professionals, but its promotion may be required, particularly in order to ensure regular professional updating. Continuing professional development may be delivered in a variety of ways, and new strategies and techniques must be evaluated for effectiveness. AIM: To evaluate the effectiveness of two interventions utilizing the philosophies and techniques of the discipline of Quality Improvement. METHOD: A self-assessment instrument (a manual) for quality dental practice was developed using the Delphi technique. A randomized, controlled trial of the interventions was conducted under field conditions for dental practice in Victoria, Australia. Dentists in Test Groups 1 and 2 completed the self-assessment manual, and received relevant references and their own scores for the manual in comparison with empirical standards. Dentists in Test Group 1 also attended a continuing education course on Quality Improvement. Dentists in Control Group 1 completed the manual only and received feedback of their scores. Dentists in Test Groups 1 and 2, and in Control Group 1 completed the manual again after 1 year as a post-intervention follow-up. Dentists in Control Group 2 completed the manual only at 1 year. RESULTS: The intervention involving self-assessment, receipt of scores and references for the manual resulted in modest improvements in total scores for dentists after 1 year, although a response bias was apparent. CONCLUSION: An effective method of facilitating change in quality dental practice was identified. Assessment of strategies and techniques for professional development of dentists should include observation of patterns of participation.
This article was published in Eur J Dent Educ
and referenced in Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior