Do dental students in team-training delegate to hygiene therapy students?

Kristina Wanyonyi, David Radford, Jenny Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Objective - The objective of this study is to examine the pattern of delegation of patients and tasks by dental students (DS) to hygiene therapy students (HTS) training together in an integrated team.
Method - A two year cross-sectional retrospective sample of patient data was extracted from a primary dental care training patient management system. The data set consisted of information on patients who experienced procedures that could potentially be conducted by either DS or HTS who were training together in practice teams. These procedures, which were descriptively analysed, included paediatric extractions, restorations and preventive procedures such as fissure sealants. Scale and polish and fluoride varnish were not included in our analysis as only items which were coded for skill-mix could be used. Chi-square tests were conducted to analyse relationships between delegation to HTS with patient age-band, smoking status, gender or payment-status.
Result - The patients (n=2,063), had experienced a total 14,996 operations. Fifty-five per cent had at least one instance of delegation. Statistically significant associations of p< 0.001 were found between delegation to HTS and age-group and smoking status of patients. Younger patients had a higher proportion of delegation, with 85.5% of patients under the age of 18 having been delegated at least once; compared to 50% of working-age adults and 56% of over 65 year olds. A higher proportion of smokers had been delegated (45%), compared to non-smokers (26%) p< 0.001. No significant differences were found in proportion of patients delegated by gender or payment-status. The most commonly delegated operations were fissure sealants (90%) followed by fillings (51%) and the least delegated were paediatric extractions (2.4%).
Conclusion - These findings suggest that the training of hygiene therapists involves significant experience in children’s care and prevention. This has significant implications for their future role in the dental team.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
EventIADR 92nd General Session - Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 25 Jun 201428 Jun 2014


ConferenceIADR 92nd General Session
Country/TerritorySouth Africa
CityCape Town


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