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dc.contributor.advisorFriedlander, Lara
dc.contributor.advisorChandler, Nicholas
dc.contributor.advisorDaniel Motidyang, Ben
dc.contributor.authorHunt, Gabrielle Rachael
dc.identifier.citationHunt, G. R. (2021). Students’ perceptions of undergraduate endodontic education and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand (Thesis, Doctor of Clinical Dentistry). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractKnowledge, understanding and developing clinical skill in endodontics is an essential competency for graduation in the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree, and for registration as a general dental practitioner (GDP). Historically, students have found learning and performing endodontic treatment a difficult and anxiety-inducing endeavour. These challenges can hinder their confidence which may negatively affect the quality of endodontic treatment performed after graduation. The overarching aims of the research reported in this thesis are to investigate final year dental students’ perceptions and experiences of the endodontic programme in New Zealand (NZ), and the extent to which such experiences were influenced by disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. An embedded mixed-methods research design was employed to capture students’ perspectives and experience of learning endodontics over a two year period (2019 and 2020). An electronic survey with closed-ended questions (measured on a Likert scale) and open-ended questions was developed and sent to final year dental students (n=137) who were three months from graduation. The survey comprised of three sections. The first explored the students feelings of confidence, anxiety and preparedness to perform endodontics; the second explored the students’ perceptions and clinical experience; and the third evaluated the outcome of teaching and learning by assessing the students application of endodontic theory to practice using clinical scenarios. In 2020, an additional section included questions related to the perceived impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and disruptions to clinical practice and learning. Data was analysed quantitatively using SPSS software and qualitatively using thematic inductive theory. Results showed NZ graduating dental students in their final three months of study perceived endodontics as a valuable and interesting part of their professional programme. Maximising clinical experience and patient contact at dental school, the importance of appropriate case selection and strong clinical supervision, particularly from those with specialist skill, were critical to improving confidence in endodontics before entering the workforce. Students perceived their knowledge, skills and confidence to be negatively affected because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of the clinical decision-making task did not support this, suggesting there may be a gap between students actual knowledge and skills in endodontics and how they perceive their abilities. The findings from this research can be used to investigate ways in which dental students can be supported while learning and performing endodontics, as well as the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectDental Education
dc.subjectNew Zealand
dc.subjectUndergraduate Education
dc.subjectPerceptions of Undergraduate Education
dc.titleStudents' perceptions of undergraduate endodontic education and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand
dc.language.rfc3066en Rehabilitation, Faculty of Dentistry of Clinical Dentistry of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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