Factors and Barriers influencing the uptake of Continuing Professional Development through Distance Education Courses for Professional Dentists

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


OBJECTIVES: The objectives of the study were to investigate the factors influencing the uptake of distance education courses by practising professional dentists in India, and also to explore the possibility of adopting distance education as a method for delivering continual professional development for dentistry [CPD] in India. STUDY DESIGN: The research was performed in three phases. The first phase consisted of a literature review and collection of data through a pilot questionnaire; the second and third phases consisted of data collection through questionnaires. The final data were collected from 201 Indian professional dentists using stratified random sampling using proportional allocations. RESULTS: The respondents' most important considerations while choosing a CPD course were topic, recognition by their respective Dental Council, Worldwide status of the course provider, and inclusion of a practical component. The results showed that age was the most significant predictor for dentists considering an online course. Dentists within the age group of 25-30 years were 4.92 times more likely to consider an online course when compared to their counterparts in the age group of <25 yrs., and around 73% of the 25-30 age group would consider enrolling in online courses. Academic extrinsic factors such as progressing up the academic ladder and social intrinsic factors such as contributing to society were also shown to be factors influencing the pursuit of CPD. Cost, duration of course, distance of travel, length of course, non-recognition of topics, and non-availability of practical courses acted as barriers to the up-take of CPD amongst the study participants. CONCLUSION: It was concluded that considering and accounting for the barriers identified, and adopting favourable measures which overcome these during the
Date of Award2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorBrian Millar (Supervisor) & Margaret Cox (Supervisor)

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