O-HEALTH-EDU: A viewpoint into the current state of Oral Health Professional education in Europe: Part 1: Programme-level data

Eur J Dent Educ. 2024 May;28(2):591-606. doi: 10.1111/eje.12989. Epub 2024 Jan 8.

Abstract

Introduction: Current legislation leaves Oral Health Professional (OHP) education open to wide interpretation and may result in significant variation in educational practice and resultant professional attributes across Europe. Data regarding the current state of OHP education across Europe is limited. The aim of Part 1 of this series is to provide programme-level data for Primary Dental Degree Programmes, Dental Hygiene and Postgraduate Education.

Methods: A 91-item questionnaire was developed following the Delphi method. The questionnaire and the Articulate glossary of OHP education terms were developed concurrently to facilitate a common understanding of language. Piloting was performed in multiple stages and included institutions internal and external to the research group. The questionnaire was uploaded online and converted to a data hub, allowing dental schools to control their own data and update the data provided whenever they wish. All ADEE member schools (n = 144) were invited to provide data. Forty questions relating to school details, Primary Dental Degree Programmes, Dental Hygiene and Postgraduate Education were included in this part of the series.

Results: Seventy-one institutions from 25 European countries provided data between June 2021 and April 2023, which represents a response rate of 49.3% of ADEE members. Programme-level data for Primary Dental Degree Programmes, Dental Hygiene and Postgraduate Education is presented including programme length, funding, languages and fees, student numbers and demographics, student admission and selection processes and permission to practice after graduation.

Conclusion: This series of papers, as far as the authors are aware, are the first attempts to build a comprehensive picture of the current state of OHP education in Europe. A comprehensive view of the state of OHP education in Europe is not yet available but the O-Health-Edu data hub provides a means for all education providers in Europe to contribute data to reach this goal. It is anticipated that the data hub will be updated and built upon over time to continually establish a clearer picture of the state of OHP education in Europe.

Keywords: Europe; Oral Health Professionals; dental education; dental hygienists; survey.

MeSH terms

  • Dental Hygienists / education
  • Education, Dental* / methods
  • Europe
  • Health Education, Dental
  • Humans
  • Oral Health*
  • Students
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

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