Currently, no validated survey instrument exists to measure dental students' use of, knowledge about, and attitudes towards computers. Several studies have surveyed students about their knowledge and opinions regarding computers, but none of them has established the reliability and validity of the instrument(s) used. A measurement study to validate a preliminary survey for dental students was conducted. The preliminary instrument contained five scales: computer use, information resource use, computer knowledge, capabilities of computer systems, and effects of computers on dental practice. Selected variables were summarized descriptively, and a factor analysis for each scale was performed. In addition, construct validity was assessed through correlational analyses among several variables. Three hundred seventy surveys distributed to students at nine dental schools generated 156 responses (42 percent response rate). Sixty-four percent of respondents were male, 36 percent female. Respondents used computers an average approximately four hours per week, and most had begun using computers in 1991. All survey scales except computer use were unidimensional. Computer use required a two-factor solution that distinguished between clinical and nonclinical uses of computers. The instrument can be used for a demonstration study, but should be continuously refined and validated.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of dental education|
|State||Published - Sep 1 2001|
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