Preparing students to practice evidence-based dentistry: A mixed methods conceptual framework for curriculum enhancement

Academic Article


  • This article describes a mixed methods conceptual framework for evidence-based dentistry to enhance the curriculum at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry. A focus of recent curriculum reform has been to prepare students to integrate evidence-based dentistry into clinical practice. The authors developed a framework consisting of four conceptual phases to introduce curriculum innovation: 1) exploration of the phenomenon; 2) development of two new instruments; 3) data collection, analysis, outcomes, and evaluation; and 4) application to curricular reform. Eight sequential procedural steps (literature review; focus group discussions; development of themes; survey design; internal review; data collection, analysis, and evaluation; development of recommendations with external review; and implementation of recommendations for curricular enhancement) guided the curricular enhancement. Faculty members supported the concept of teaching evidence-based dentistry to facilitate major curriculum reform, and course directors incorporated evidence-based teaching to prepare scientist-practitioners who meet dental performance standards. The new curriculum implemented following completion of the study is in its third year. Much of its structure is based on evidence-based teaching methodologies, and approximately one-third of the content consists of small groups researching clinical problems with applied science and discussing the findings. The framework described in this article proved useful to guide revision of predoctoral clinical education at one dental school and may be useful in other settings.
  • Published In

    Author List

  • Palcanis KG; Geiger BF; O'Neal MR; Ivankova NV; Evans RR; Kennedy LB; Carera KW
  • Start Page

  • 1600
  • End Page

  • 1614
  • Volume

  • 76
  • Issue

  • 12