Identification of semester-specific teaching contents for dental ethics : development, testing and validation of a questionnaire


Although medical ethics is an indispensable part of dental education, it has not played a relevant role in the dental curriculum thus far. This study is aimed at developing and validating a questionnaire that identifies semester-specific ethical issues, in order to develop longitudinal ethic modules.


March 2018 a workshop on item generation was coordinated, using Delphi method; followed by a cognitive testing with students (2nd, 4th, 10th semesters, n = 12). A pilot test was carried out with students from different semesters (n = 60). The distribution of response frequencies and missing values were determined. The questionnaire used for validation consisted of three dimensions: ethical knowledge, dealing with ethical issues, expectations in terms of teaching. The psychometric examination was carried out by preclinical students (n = 105) and clinical semesters (n = 110) January 2019.


After cognitive testing and piloting, some items were reformulated, so that a questionnaire with 127 items was used for validation. The individual dimensions were assigned to various factors with excellent to acceptable internal consistency (Cronbach's α 0.72-0.96).


The questionnaire has an acceptable to excellent consistency and suggests that the different dimensions are conclusive. With this questionnaire, ethical issues in dentistry can be mapped and teaching contents identified.


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