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Title: General Dental Practitioners' perceptions of a change in confidence following a five-year part time Master's programme
Author: Fine, P. D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 2493
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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Aims: The aims of this study are to investigate: i) How changes in confidence influence the learning experience of General Dental Practitioners (GDPs), ii) To what extent pedagogical learning interventions impact on general dental practitioners’ perceived confidence following a Master’s programme, and iii) In what way do changes in perceived confidence have an impact on clinical practice. The study tracks two cohorts of postgraduate students participating in a five-year part time Master’s programme in Restorative Dentistry (RDP). Methods: Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through questionnaires, focus group discussions, interviews and field notes. Questionnaires were designed, piloted and hard copies delivered to two cohorts of students (2010 and 2011), before the programme, at the conclusion of year 1, at the conclusion of Year 3, and conclusion of Year 5. Quantitative data was analysed using SPSS Software (Version 21). Focus group discussions occurred during year 1. Personal interviews were organised at the completion of the programme. Field notes were collected throughout the study. Qualitative data were transcribed verbatim, organised thematically, and analysed phenomenologically. Findings: 144 GDPs (2010, 72 and 2011, 72) started the RDP programme. 25 (17.4%) successfully completed the five-year Master’s degree. The quantitative data reported small increases in confidence throughout the programme. There was little statistical difference between the age, gender or number of year’s clinical experience of individuals or the cohorts. Qualitative data revealed a significant number of GDPs attending the programme to improve confidence, the teaching pedagogy was fundamental in increasing confidence, as confidence grew so motivation to continue the programme was evident and increases in confidence were reflected by a perceived improvement in clinical performance. Conclusions: As the GDPs become more confident, their motivation for ongoing learning was enhanced. Small group, peer learning, and hands-on practical sessions were perceived to have a positive impact on confidence. Case based discussions and teaching via evidence based protocols increased confidence. Increases in confidence had a significant impact on clinical dentistry with GDPs becoming comfortable to undertake more complex treatment, achieving better treatment planning resulting in improved patient responses and satisfaction.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available