Developing a national dental education research strategy: priorities, barriers and enablers

Rola Ajjawi (Lead / Corresponding author), Karen L. Barton, Ashley A. Dennis, Charlotte E. Rees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
208 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: This study aimed to identify national dental education research (DER) priorities for the next 3-5 years and to identify barriers and enablers to DER.

Setting: Scotland.

Participants: In this two-stage online questionnaire study, we collected data with multiple dental professions (eg, dentistry, dental nursing and dental hygiene) and stakeholder groups (eg, learners, clinicians, educators, managers, researchers and academics). Eighty-five participants completed the Stage 1 qualitative questionnaire and 649 participants the Stage 2 quantitative questionnaire.

Results: Eight themes were identified at Stage 1. Of the 24 DER priorities identified, the top three were: role of assessments in identifying competence; undergraduate curriculum prepares for practice and promoting teamwork. Following exploratory factor analysis, the 24 items loaded onto four factors: teamwork and professionalism, measuring and enhancing performance, dental workforce issues and curriculum integration and innovation. Barriers and enablers existed at multiple levels: individual, interpersonal, institutional structures and cultures and technology.

Conclusions: This priority setting exercise provides a necessary first step to developing a national DER strategy capturing multiple perspectives. Promoting DER requires improved resourcing alongside efforts to overcome peer stigma and lack of valuing and motivation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere013129
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number3
Early online date1 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2017


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