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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


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 (eg, dentistry, dental nursing and dental hygiene) and stakeholder groups (eg, learners, clinicians, educators, managers, researchers and 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. Conclusions 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
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Dental education research
  • EDUCATION and TRAINING (see Medical Education & Training)
  • online questionnaire
  • priority setting

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