Aim: The purpose was to assess dental students’ knowledge, attitude, and confidence toward evidence-based dentistry in five graduating Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) classes.
Materials and methods: All dental students (class of 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023) enrolled in the D3 research design course were required to take a pre-Knowledge, Attitude, and Confidence in Evidence-based Dentistry (KACE) survey. On completion of the 11-week course, a post-KACE survey was distributed to compare the differences in the three domains of evidence-based dentistry (EBD). For the knowledge domain, the responses from the 10 questions were converted to either correct (1) or wrong (0) so that the compiled scores could range from 0 to 10. The attitudes and confidence domains used a five-point Likert scale. The compiled attitude score was a sum of the responses from 10 questions yielding a range from 10 to 50. For confidence, the compiled score ranged from 6 to 30.
Results: The mean knowledge scores of all classes together before and after training were 2.7 and 4.4, respectively. Overall, there was a statistically significant difference between pre- and post-knowledge indicating an improvement in knowledge associated with the training (p < 0.001). The mean attitudes of all classes together before and after the training were 35.3 and 37.2, respectively. Overall, there was a statistically significant improvement in attitude (p < 0.001). The values of mean confidence of all classes together before and after the training were 15.3 and 19.5, respectively. Overall, there was a statistically significant improvement in confidence (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: A dental curriculum emphasizing Evidence-based practice (EBD) resulted in increased knowledge acquisition, improved attitude, and confidence toward EBD of dental students.
Clinical significance: Educational initiatives emphasizing evidence-based dentistry increase students’ knowledge acquisition, improved attitude, and confidence toward EBD that may also translate to active implementation of EBD in their future practices.
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