Dental students' reflective learning from a geriatric interview assignment


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ObjectivesAs part of geriatric education at the University of British Columbia's Faculty of Dentistry, undergraduate students are required to interview an older adult over 65 years old and critically reflect in writing on the meaning of this interview to themselves and their professional lives in not more than 2000 words. They are also encouraged to use a life grid. This study explored the impact of this assignment on the students as learners and on their views about their profession.MethodsInterview assignments were collected from the entire cohort of 54 third-year students in 2021 and analyzed in 5 stages, using an exploratory thematic analysis, including an interactive coding process to identify patterns (themes) within the assignments using NVivo R1 software. Two researchers coded assignments individually and met to reach a consensus about the codes, to mitigate potential biases.ResultsFive main themes were identified, including communication, life course journey, person-centered care, social determinants of health, and access to care. A wide range of ideas emerged under each theme, including several practical suggestions to improve future practice as an oral health professional. A little over 40% of the students used the life grid in their interviews. Modifications on the interview assignment are suggested.ConclusionStudents' reflections highlighted their observations on a wide range of ideas within each theme, many pertaining to their future profession. They also discussed how this knowledge would inform their future practice in terms of their interactions with, and providing care to, patients with similar situations.
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Key words
education,geriatric dentistry,interview,life grid,reflection,research methodology qualitative
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