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Scope of Interprofessional Education Opportunities in Dental Hygiene Programs
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The purpose of this study is to determine the scope of interprofessional education (IPE) opportunities offered by Dental Hygiene Programs. An electronic survey was sent to 100 dental hygiene program directors in the southeastern region of the United States. The 36-question survey examined dental hygiene programs’ IPE opportunities within their curriculum, as well as the perceived challenges and benefits of IPE. The response rate was 46% (n=46). The majority of respondents (56.5%, n=26) were not located within a health science center; however, 76.1% (n=35) worked in institutions that offered other allied health degrees. The majority (68.9%, n=31) of respondents incorporated IPE into their curriculum. When asked where IPE was being taught in the curriculum; 50.0% (n=28) implemented IPE in the classroom, 33.9% (n=19) in the clinical environment, and 16.1% (n=9) at off-site rotations. Approximately 76.7% (n=23) of respondents incorporated IPE in their pre-clinical dental hygiene course, 53.3% (n=16) special needs, and 43.3% (n=13) public health. The majority of the respondents stated they collaborated with nursing; Junior/Community Colleges 77.8% (n=14), 85.7% (n=6), Career Colleges 66.7% (n=2), and Dental schools 50% (n=1). The majority of respondents felt that IPE improved communication skills with other allied healthcare providers (93.3%, n=28), provided a better appreciation of other allied health professions (86.7%, n=26), better patient outcomes (76.7%, n=23), team building skills (76.7%, n=23), and improved student learning outcomes (76.7%, n=23). Challenges reported by respondents included lack of access to other disciplines (M=4.3), logistics in planning (M=3.5), difficulty in getting other disciplines to participate (M=3.4), and having the resources and personnel to teach IPE courses (M=3.3).The most perceived challenge was time within the curriculum (M=4.4). This study found that respondents are integrating interprofessional education into their dental hygiene curriculum.
Norrell, Stacey Elaine (2019). Scope of Interprofessional Education Opportunities in Dental Hygiene Programs. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from