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UBC Theses and Dissertations
Attitude of Canadian dental hygienists toward mandatory continuing education Forgay, Margery G. E.
Although mandatory continuing education is an important issue for health professionals, little research has been conducted concerning attitudes toward it. In particular, there are few Investigations concerning attitude toward mandatory continuing education and possible social or demographic antecedents. This study reports the results of a survey of Canadian dental hyglenists designed to determine the extent to which attitude toward mandatory continuing education Is uni- or multidimensional. A second purpose was to examine demographic correlates of attitude toward mandatory continuing education. A Llkert-type scale was devised to measure attitudes toward mandatory continuing education. It was found that the attitude is multidimensional, the first three underlying factors being, Professional Enhancement, Voluntariness, and Program Currentness. Together these three factors account for 52 per cent of the variance in attitude toward mandatory continuing education. Demographic variables and one psychological dimension, Conservatism, were examined to determine their Influence on attitude toward mandatory continuing education and on Professional Enhancement, Voluntariness, and Program Current-ness. Some statistically significant relationships were found. Overall attitude toward mandatory continuing education was correlated positively with the following variables: miles from the nearest dental hygiene school; CDHA membership; the number of professional meetings attended in the past twelve months; offices held in professional associations; per cent of employed years worked full time; the number of continuing education programs attended in the past twelve months; and living where continuing education Is mandatory for dentists and hygienists. Professional Enhancement scores correlated positively with the same variables and "attendance at a discussion of the Issues concerning mandatory continuing education". Professional Enhancement scores were negatively correlated with the size of the community lived in. Voluntariness correlated negatively with all of the variables showing positive correlations for overall favorableness toward mandatory continuing education. Program Currentness was positively correlated with years since graduation, number of years spent ln full time teaching, number of children, age, and locus of program of graduation, and negatively with CDHA membership and living where continuing education Is mandatory for dentists. Although statistically significant, these correlations were generally low. A stepwise multiple regression showed that few variables account for more than one per cent of the variance in overall attitude, Professional Enhancement, Voluntariness, or Program Currentness scores. It was concluded that attitudes of Canadian dental hygienists toward mandatory continuing education are multidimensional and that no independent variable examined was an influential determinant of either overall attitude or its three principal underlying dimensions. Attitude toward mandatory continuing education was not predicted by variables one would expect to underly such attitudes. Alternatively the issue of mandatory continuing education is so new that the effects of these variables have not yet manifested themselves.
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