Nursing and dental students' and pediatric dentistry residents' responses to experiences with interprofessional education

J Dent Educ. 2014 Sep;78(9):1301-12.


Interprofessional education (IPE) has received increasingly more attention over recent years. The objectives of this study were to assess 1) how nursing students' considerations concerning their own oral health and oral health-related knowledge changed from before to after experiencing IPE; 2) how nursing students', dental students', and pediatric dentistry residents' IPE-related attitudes and Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS) scores changed after experiencing an IPE rotation; and 3) how these groups' attitudes and RIPLS scores were related. Data were collected from three groups who participated in an IPE rotation: thirty-eight of forty third-year dental students (95 percent response rate), all thirty-three nursing students (100 percent), and all six pediatric dentistry residents (100 percent) prior to the rotation, and 100 percent of each group after the rotation. As a control group, data were also collected at the beginning of the winter term from first-year dental students (104 out of 105; 99 percent response rate) and second-year dental students (102 out of 116; 88 percent); the same groups were surveyed at the end of term, with response rates of 98 percent for first-year students and 89 percent for second-year students. After the rotation, the nursing students' tooth brushing frequency increased, and their comfort level with dental visits and oral health-related knowledge improved. The dental students rated the importance of nurses' having oral health-related knowledge and skills lower than did the nursing students and pediatric dentistry residents. The groups' RIPLS scores correlated with these importance ratings. Overall, while the nursing students showed positive responses to IPE, the dental students' attitudes and RIPLS scores did not change as a result of the IPE experience. Future research should explore the conditions under which dental students are impacted by IPE.

Keywords: Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale; dental education; dental students; interprofessional education; nursing education; nursing students; pediatric dentistry.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Cariostatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Competence
  • Dental Care
  • Dental Caries / diagnosis
  • Education, Dental*
  • Education, Nursing*
  • Female
  • Fluorides, Topical / therapeutic use
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Education, Dental
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Oral Health
  • Oral Hygiene
  • Parents / education
  • Pediatric Dentistry / education*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Students, Dental / psychology*
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*
  • Toothbrushing
  • Young Adult


  • Cariostatic Agents
  • Fluorides, Topical