Dental patient education: a survey from the perspective of dental hygienists

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Objectives:The aim of this study was to describe the current patient education practices of dental hygienists by exploring their views concerning their skills and knowledge related to patient education and by determining the implementation of patient education in their work, with regard to both method and content.Methods:The target group consisted of 416 dental hygienists (n = 222, 53%) The research strategy used was a survey. The material was gathered using questionnaire.Results:According to the dental hygienists, their skills and knowledge about patient education were good. However, the implementation of education was not in line with these assessments. The content of the education given focused mostly on the functional dimension. Little use was made of various educational methods, and the dental hygienists felt that they were not in good enough command of the methods. The patient's expectations and learning were not assessed systematically. The education provided and the assessment of the need for education often focused on the professional him/herself and the standpoint of the patient empowerment was disregarded.Conclusions:These results lay the foundation for additional research aimed at developing the patient education given by these professionals and making it support the empowerment of each patient.

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