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Integration of oral healthcare into undergraduate health professional educational programs: A scoping review

  • Jacqueline Rojo
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Locked Bag 1797, Penrith NSW 2751, Australia
    Affiliations
    School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith NSW 2751, Australia

    Australian Centre for Integration of Oral Health (ACIOH), School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University, Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, Locked Bag 7103, Liverpool NSW 2170, Australia
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  • Ajesh George
    Affiliations
    Australian Centre for Integration of Oral Health (ACIOH), School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University, Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, Locked Bag 7103, Liverpool NSW 2170, Australia

    Faculty of Medicine and Health, School of Dentistry, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
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  • Brandon W. Smith
    Affiliations
    Australian Centre for Integration of Oral Health (ACIOH), School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University, Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, Locked Bag 7103, Liverpool NSW 2170, Australia
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  • Lucie M. Ramjan
    Affiliations
    School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith NSW 2751, Australia

    Australian Centre for Integration of Oral Health (ACIOH), School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University, Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, Locked Bag 7103, Liverpool NSW 2170, Australia
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  • Leanne Hunt
    Affiliations
    School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith NSW 2751, Australia

    Australian Centre for Integration of Oral Health (ACIOH), School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University, Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, Locked Bag 7103, Liverpool NSW 2170, Australia

    Centre for Applied Nursing Research (CANR), Sydney South West Area Health Services, Locked Bag 7103, Liverpool BC NSW 1871, Australia
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  • Erin Hartnett
    Affiliations
    Australian Centre for Integration of Oral Health (ACIOH), School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University, Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, Locked Bag 7103, Liverpool NSW 2170, Australia

    Oral Health Nursing Education and Practice Program, New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, 433 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States
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  • Yenna Salamonson
    Affiliations
    School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith NSW 2751, Australia

    Australian Centre for Integration of Oral Health (ACIOH), School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University, Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, Locked Bag 7103, Liverpool NSW 2170, Australia
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Published:February 01, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colegn.2022.01.002

      Summary of relevance

      • Problem: Oral disease affects an individual's overall health and poses a significant global health burden.
      • What is already known: Oral healthcare education has been integrated into undergraduate educational programs for a range of non-dental health professionals.
      • What this paper adds: An interdisciplinary approach using of subject matter experts and simultaneous teaching of different students is a common method adopted to improve the oral health competency of non-dental professionals.

      Abstract

      Background

      Oral disease affects 3.5 billion people worldwide and despite this, it is not known the extent to which oral health education has been integrated into undergraduate health professional programs.

      Aim

      To explore the pedagogical approaches used to integrate and deliver oral health education across nursing and other non-dental health disciplines.

      Review methods

      A scoping review was conducted following the PRISMA-ScR extension guidelines in January 2021. CINAHL, Ovid MEDLINE, SCOPUS, Education Research Complete, ERIC, Nursing and Allied Health Database, PUBMED, NDLTD, and OHNEP were searched and screened, yielding 5,781 references with 18 studies eligible for inclusion. Findings were synthesised and presented as narratives and tables.

      Findings

      While an interdisciplinary learning approach of simultaneously teaching students from multiple disciplines was adopted in only three studies, the use of subject matter experts was reported in more than half of the studies. Delivery of learning material occurred in varied settings and the assessment of learning outcome effectiveness focused on changes in knowledge, attitude, confidence, and skills competence.

      Discussion

      Although only a few studies reported using interdisciplinary learning approaches, the use of subject matter experts in over half of the studies was a recognition of the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration. Nevertheless, the superiority of any one approach remains unclear, due to the heterogeneity in learning outcome measures.

      Conclusion

      Oral healthcare has been embedded in a small number of undergraduate educational programs, using a diverse range of pedagogical approaches. The use of subject matter experts should be commonplace when developing oral healthcare curricula.

      Keywords

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