The patient educator presentation in dental education: Reinforcing the importance of learning about rare conditions

Paul C. Edwards, Jasmine Graham, Rebecca Oling, Kate E. Frantz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine whether a patient educator presentation (PEP) on pemphigus vulgaris would increase second-year dental students' awareness of the importance of learning about rare conditions and improve their retention of rare disease knowledge. The study involved students' subjective assessments of a PEP experience at two U.S. dental schools. In this mixed methods study, cross-sectional data were obtained by surveys and in-depth interviews. Questions focused on students' assessment of the messages acquired from the PEP and its likely impact on their future clinical care. At University 1, students completed paper surveys with open-ended questions and participated in a focus group. At University 2, students completed an online survey consisting of rating scale and open-ended questions. Responses to open-ended questions were categorized into themes. At University 1, 79 students (out of a possible 102; response rate 77.5%) completed the survey, and an additional ten students participated in a focus group. At University 2, 30 students (out of a possible 104; response rate 28.8%) completed the survey. At Universities 1 and 2, 88% and 100%, respectively, of respondents stated the PEP would influence their future clinical decision making. The vast majority of respondents (94% and 100% at University 1 and University 2, respectively) were of the opinion that the personal testimonial from a patient would help them recall information about pemphigus vulgaris in five years' time. Respondents from both universities commented that the PEP emphasized the importance of not dismissing a patient's concerns. These results suggest that a presentation by a patient with a rare condition can be an effective educational tool for preclinical dental students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-541
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of dental education
Volume80
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016

Keywords

  • Dental education
  • Oral pathology
  • Orphan diseases
  • Patient educator
  • Pemphigus
  • Rare diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Dentistry(all)

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