COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

The winds of change revisited: progress towards building a culture of evidence-based dentistry

Robert J Hinton, Ann L McCann, Emet D Schneiderman, Paul C Dechow
Journal of Dental Education 2015, 79 (5): 499-509
25941143
In 2008, Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry launched a comprehensive four-year curriculum in evidence-based dentistry (EBD) along with a series of faculty development initiatives to create an EBD culture. The aim of this study was to determine the institution's success in achieving this goal. The assessment tool used was the PEAK instrument, which measures respondents' EBD Practices, Experience, Attitudes, and Knowledge. Two EBD-trained classes of students and one class untrained in EBD (approximately 100 students in each class) were assessed annually. The faculty were assessed before and after completion of the initiative. Nearly all students responded, with samples ranging from 87 to 102; the faculty response rates were 53% (62/117) in 2009 and 66% in 2013 (81/123). In the results, the trained students scored significantly higher in knowledge than the untrained students at each of the first three PEAK administrations (p≤0.001). Regarding confidence in appraising a research report, the first trained group significantly gained in appropriate use of statistical tests (p<0.001), while the second trained group significantly gained in this aspect and five others (p≤0.032). At the final PEAK administration, the second trained group agreed more than the untrained group that EBD was important for the practice of dentistry (p<0.001). Faculty comfort level with reading peer-reviewed articles increased significantly from 2009 to 2013 (p=0.039). Faculty members who participated in the summer EBD Fundamentals course (n=28) had significantly higher EBD knowledge scores than those who did not participate (p=0.013), and their EBD attitudes and practices were more positive (p<0.05). Students and faculty trained in EBD were more knowledgeable and exhibited more positive attitudes, supporting a conclusion that the college has made substantial progress towards achieving an EBD culture.

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