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

Rola Ajjawi*, Karen L. Barton, Ashley A. Dennis, Charlotte E. Rees

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)
    72 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 (e.g. dentistry, dental nursing, dental hygiene) and stakeholder groups (e.g. learners, clinicians, educators, managers, researchers, 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. Conclusion: 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
    Number of pages12
    JournalBMJ Open
    Issue number3
    Early online date29 Mar 2017
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


    • Dental education research
    • Priority setting
    • Online questionnaires


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