Clinical audit training improves undergraduates' performance in root canal therapy.

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Abstract

AIM

To evaluate the effectiveness of clinical audit-feedback cycle as an educational tool in improving the technical quality of root canal therapy (RCT) and compliance with record keeping performed by dental undergraduates.

METHODS

Clinical audit learning was introduced in Year 3 of a 5-year curriculum for dental undergraduates. During classroom activities, students were briefed on clinical audit, selected their audit topics in groups of 5 or 6 students, and prepared and presented their audit protocols. One chosen topic was RCT, in which 3 different cohorts of Year 3 students conducted retrospective audits of patients' records in 2012, 2014 and 2015 for their compliance with recommended record keeping criteria and their performance in RCT. Students were trained by and calibrated against an endodontist (κ ≥ 0.8). After each audit, the findings were reported in class, and recommendations were made for improvement in performance of RCT and record keeping. Students' compliance with published guidelines was presented and their RCT performances in each year were compared using the chi-square test.

RESULTS

Overall compliance with of record keeping guidelines was 44.1% in 2012, 79.6% in 2014 and 94.6% in 2015 (P = .001). In the 2012 audit, acceptable extension, condensation and the absence of mishap were observed in 72.4, 75.7% and 91.5%; in the 2014 audit, 95.1%, 64.8% and 51.4%; and in 2015 audit, 96.4%, 82.1% and 92.8% of cases, respectively. In 2015, 76.8% of root canal fillings met all 3 technical quality criteria when compared to 48.6% in 2014 and 44.7% in 2012 (P = .001).

CONCLUSION

Clinical audit-feedback cycle is an effective educational tool for improving dental undergraduates' compliance with record keeping and performance in the technical quality of RCT.

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