Empowerment in a model of outreach undergraduate dental education

D. R. Radford*, P. Hellyer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Aim To undertake a quantitative and qualitative examination into what aspects of the students' experience in outreach at University of Portsmouth Dental Academy (UPDA) are encouraging their empowerment as autonomous practitioners, ready to graduate as 'safe beginners'.Methods The study was devised as part of the educational service evaluation of outreach education at the UPDA. For the two most recent cohorts of 160 students (2014-16) an additional domain was added specifically investigating the students' sense of how their experience of outreach at the UPDA has impacted on their development to be ready for independent practice (safe beginner). The questionnaire was completed anonymously in their last week of attendance just before graduation.Results A 91% response rate for the questionnaire was achieved. To the question about 'being given an opportunity to become an independent dentist', 83% of the respondents strongly agreed. Two themes with seven subthemes were identified from the free text responses. The two themes were 'self-actualisation: developing self-awareness and self-confidence' and 'delivery of care as a dentist'.Conclusion Within the limitations of this educational evaluation, students enjoyed the increase of autonomy they gained during the year-long placement and felt that the clinical teachers empowered, encouraged and supported them to develop as autonomous dental practitioners and as 'safe beginners', to deliver holistic care in the National Health Service.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-45
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Jan 2017


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