This study investigated dental students’ prejudicial beliefs towards underserved patient populations as an upstream constituent of provider attitudinal barriers to care. The objectives were to explore the scope and nature of prejudicial beliefs, to assess the value of critical reflection as essential preparation for patient care, and to identify insights that would inform the preclinical curriculum that, ultimately, reduce oral health disparity.
The research used an integrated approach with qualitative and quantitative methods. An original serialized reflection assignment was introduced into the preclinical curriculum of 142 first year dental students to critically journal about the legitimacy of their a priori prejudicial beliefs. A purposive sample of 44 participants was obtained. Journals were analyzed for emergent themes and questionnaires for relevant context.
Results indicated dental students identified a range of prejudicial beliefs and, through self-direction, experienced awareness and transformation of their beliefs. Participants agreed that reflection had personal and educational value. Insights were identified that could enhance the preclinical curriculum. This contributes to the evidence base on pedagogical strategies historically focused on post-experiential reflection. Themes that were explored include concepts defining the nature of prejudicial beliefs that could guide and inform professional practice. A need was identified to conduct grounded theory research on awareness of prejudicial beliefs as an antecedent to attitude change.
|Advisor:||Roe, Kathleen M., Mamary, Edward|
|Commitee:||LaGoy, Amy, Seal, Craig|
|School:||San Jose State University|
|Department:||Public Health (Regular)|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 50/04M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Dentistry, Public health, Health education|
|Keywords:||Attitudes, Barriers to care, Dental curriculum, Prejudicial beliefs, Reflection, Self-awareness|
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