Dental Undergraduates’ Self-Assessed Confidence in Paediatric Dentistry

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Wong SWY Wong XQ Vaithilingam RD Rajan S


Aim: Self-assessment based on benchmarked professional standards is an excellent tool to assist in improving the dental curriculum. Areas of strength and weaknesses can be identified. It can also act as a baseline standard when significant changes are introduced to the dental curriculum. The aims of this prospective cross-sectional study was to investigate self-assessed confidence of final year dental undergraduates in paediatric dentistry enrolled at University of Malaya in 2013. Methods: 65 undergraduates completed anonymised questionnaires which were formulated based on expected professional competencies in three domains namely clinical skills, patient management, and professional development and clinical governance. Visual analogue score (VAS) represented by a 10cm line with score ‘0’ no confidence at all and ‘10’ complete confidence was used to measure the level of confidence. Results: The overall analysis of self assessed confidence was very positive with median VAS ≥ 5cm in; clinical skills, 7.66±1.31cm (range=2.41–9.97cm: n=62; 95.4%), patient management 7.73±1.27cm (range=5.09–9.95cm: n=64; 100.0%), and professional development and clinical governance, 8.13±1.21cm (range=5.22–10.00cm: n=64; 100.0%). High confidence was reported for routine dental care (fillings and preventive care) while lower confidence reported for basic life support (median VAS=5.65cm) and pulp therapy for immature permanent teeth (median VAS=5.95cm). Conclusions: The final year dental undergraduate students of the University of Malaya appear to have good overall self-assessed confidence in core areas in paediatric dentistry.


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SWY, Wong et al. Dental Undergraduates’ Self-Assessed Confidence in Paediatric Dentistry. Annals of Dentistry University of Malaya, [S.l.], v. 22, n. 2, p. 22-30, dec. 2015. ISSN 2462-2060. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 22 may 2019. doi: