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Home arrow Resources arrow Teaching Resources arrow Effect of Advocacy Training During Dental Education on Pediatric Dentists Interest in Advocating...
Effect of Advocacy Training During Dental Education on Pediatric Dentists Interest in Advocating...
Written by Vishnevetsky, A., Mirman, J., Bhoopathi, V.   
Monday, 01 January 2018

Dentists, like other health professionals, are uniquely positioned to be public health advocates. One venue where dental students can become skilled public health advocates is in dental education programs. However, debates about the need and importance of integrating advocacy training into dental curricula exist. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the association between pediatric dentists’ interest in and willingness to participate in an advocacy-related activity and their prior training in advocacy during dental education. The advocacy activity used in the study related to community water fluoridation (CWF). A 22-item pilot-tested online survey was sent in February–May 2016 to 5,394 pediatric dentists who were members of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. The final response rate was 16% (n=830). Most (77%) of the respondents were willing to advocate for CWF initiatives at the community and/or state levels. Only 44% of the respondents reported receiving training in advocacy during their predoctoral dental and/or pediatric dental residency education. The pediatric dentists who were willing to advocate for CWF initiatives had 2.7 times (95% CI: 1.63–4.39, p<0.0001) the odds of having received advocacy training during their dental education compared to those who were unwilling. These results suggest a positive association between the pediatric dentists’ willingness to advocate for CWF and their prior advocacy training during dental education. This finding provides support for the Commission on Dental Accreditation’s requirement for pediatric dental residency programs to train residents in advocacy. Because dentists are respected leaders in their community, the study results also support the integration of advocacy training into predoctoral dental curricula.

Read more at: http://www.jdentaled.org/cgi/content/short/82/1/54?rss=1

 
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