An online multimedia treatment planning tool: Effect on dental students' knowledge in using standardized clinical data

Ulla B Arvidson Bufano, Grishondra Branch-Mays, Julie Gilliam, Elaine Romberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A multidisciplinary, multimedia, online Treatment Planning Data Acquisition Tool (TPDat) containing standardized information was created at the University of Maryland Dental School to improve students' actual and perceived knowledge in and self-assessed confidence about the gathering and recording of standardized data at a patient's initial visit. Students from the classes of 2009 (seniors) and 2010 (juniors) completed a pre-test (2009 N=93, 79 percent of the class; 2010 N=105, 85 percent) and an unannounced post-test six months later (2009 N=46, 40 percent; 2010 N=102, 83 percent). Multiple-choice items were used to test student knowledge, and a Likert scale was used to assess perceived knowledge and confidence (1=low to 5=high). The students also assessed the degree of helpfulness of the different TPDat sections. Juniors' knowledge about information in the TPDat was significantly higher at the post-test (11.9±1.6) than the pre-test (11.0±1.9, F=13.545, p±0.0001). Their confidence was also significantly higher at the post-test (3.58±0.5) compared to the pre-test (3.34±0.6, F=11.417, p=0.001). Seniors' perceived knowledge on the pre-test (3.87±0.4) was significantly lower than six months later (4.03±0.4, F=3.984, p=0.048). Seniors' knowledge and confidence pre-test scores were not significantly different from their post-test scores. No significant difference was found between the 2009 (11.3) and 2010 (11.9) levels of knowledge at the post-test. Since there was no significant difference in post-test knowledge scores between juniors and seniors (who had twelve months longer experience), this may indicate that the TPDat was the deciding factor in knowledge acquisition. The results showed that the TPDat facilitated learning and standardization of gathering and recording of clinical data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-57
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Dental Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • Knowledge and perceived knowledge about treatment planning
  • Multimedia online clinical standardization program
  • Recording of history taking and diagnosis
  • Standardized clinical data
  • Treatment planning

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