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A controlled evaluation of computer assisted training simulations in geriatric dentistry.

Authors
  • Mulligan, R
  • Wood, G J
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of dental education
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1993
Volume
57
Issue
1
Pages
16–24
Identifiers
PMID: 8417039
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The increasing number of geriatric dental patients and the development of treatment plans that require consideration of complex psychosocial, socioeconomic, and medical/medication factors necessitates a change in the traditional teaching of treatment planning. A computer-assisted instructional program was developed to simulate the dentist-geriatric patient interaction and to train students in clinical decision making for the geriatric patient. This study compared the effects of this program with a more traditional approach based on readings from the geriatric dentistry literature. Twenty third-year dental students were matched on grade point average and randomly assigned to the computer or literature-based groups. They were pretested using a clinical analogue of a geriatric patient and then instructed to use either the computer or literature-based educational units. The students were then post-tested on a second clinical analogue. Students performed similarly at pretest. At post-test, both the computer and literature-based subjects were found to have acquired significantly greater evaluation points, to make fewer errors, and to design more involved treatment plans than at pretest. Comparison of computer and literature-based subjects' performance revealed no significant main or interaction effects regarding type of educational unit used. Consistent nonsignificant trends were noted with the computer-based subjects out-performing literature-based subjects on each outcome variable. In addition, the computer-based subjects had more positive feelings about the educational unit than the literature-based subjects at a statistically significant level. These findings suggest that the computer program is an effective alternative method for developing clinical decision skills in students treating geriatric patients.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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