Perceived stress and well-being amongst dental hygiene and dental therapy students

Marina Gerard Harris, Clare Wilson, Sara Jane Helen Holmes, David Radford

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Aims - To explore Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy Students’ (DHDTS) perception of stress and well-being during their undergraduate education and establish base-line data for further studies of this group of dental professionals.

Subjects and Methods
- A questionnaire was distributed to Years 1, 2 and 3 DHDTS and final year outreach Dental Students (DS) (as a comparison group), at the University of Portsmouth Dental Academy (UPDA), during summer 2015. Data were collected on students’ perception of levels of stress and well-being. Statistical analyses were undertaken using SPSSTM software. Mann-Whitney U tests with Bonferroni corrections were used and the level for a statistically significant difference was set at p<0.002. 

- A response rate of 81% (DHDTS) and 85% (DS) was achieved. Clinical factors and academic work were perceived as stressful for both DHDTS and DS, with no significant difference between the groups. The majority of respondents reported levels of depression, anxiety, and stress to be within the normal range. All students reported high levels of positive well-being, with DHDTS scoring significantly higher than DS in the dimensions of personal growth, purpose in life, self-acceptance and positive relations with others (p<0.002).

- DHDTS and DS identified sources of stress within their undergraduate education, but also perceived themselves as positively-functioning individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-106
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Early online date27 Jan 2017
Publication statusEarly online - 27 Jan 2017


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