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Participation in continuing education by employed dental hygienists in British Columbia Kline, Carolyn

Abstract

The study reported on the participation patterns of dental hygienists in the Province of British Columbia during the period of March 1971 to March 1974. The study surveyed 163 dental hygienists registered and licenced with the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia in 1973 who were resident and employed in the Province at the time of the study. These 163 hygienists represented 76.2 per cent of dental hygienists registered and licenced in British Columbia in 1973. Eleven variables were selected for study: age, marital status, number of children, years of post-secondary education, year and place of graduation, place of residence, work towards further dental or non-dental qualifications, employment status and principal type of employment. Of these variables only three were found to differentiate between participants and non-participants which were: place of graduation, work towards non-dental qualifications and principal type of employment. The courses attended were grouped into four categories: clinical skills, patient evaluation, dental health education and practice management. The eleven variables were tested against the four course categories to determine whether any of the characteristics influenced participation in the different types of courses. In four instances significant differences were found: age was related to attendance in clinical skills courses; the number of years of post-secondary education was related to participation in clinical skills courses and patient evaluation courses; and marital status was related to participation in practice management courses. The findings of this study indicate that the socio-economic variables considered had little influence on the participation patterns of dental hygienists and emphasizes the need for future research concerning the role of psychological and other factors influencing participation in continuing education programs.

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