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Development of undergraduate gerodontology courses in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany from 2004 to 2009


Nitschke, Ina; Kunze, Julia; Reiber, Thomas; Sobotta, Bernhard A J (2013). Development of undergraduate gerodontology courses in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany from 2004 to 2009. Journal of Dental Education, 77(5):630-639.

Abstract

The growing number of individuals over the age of sixty-five with specific dental needs requires increased teaching efforts to adequately prepare predoctoral dental students. The study assessed whether such increases in undergraduate gerodontology teaching in German-speaking countries between 2004 and 2009 occurred. Questionnaires were mailed in 2004 and 2009 to all deans (n=37) and all department heads (n=140) of Austrian, Swiss, and German dental schools. Results show that gerodontology is still mostly included in traditional core subjects but that specific lecture series and practical teaching have increased. These cover a broad variety of subjects including geriatric medicine, gerontopsychiatry, nursing care, pharmacology, and public health. The number of departments with dedicated staff for gerodontology, research activities, and mean number of publications has increased. Barriers to the further integration of the subject include its continued exclusion from final examinations in Austria and Germany. Guidelines of the European College of Gerodontology (2009), which aim to prepare students to provide dental treatment to seniors by teaching theoretical knowledge, practical skills, patient management techniques, and the ethical foundation of gerodontology, need to be implemented. Continued professional education of faculty in all departments, intensified cooperation between universities, and the presence of faculty specializing in gerodontology are suggested.

Abstract

The growing number of individuals over the age of sixty-five with specific dental needs requires increased teaching efforts to adequately prepare predoctoral dental students. The study assessed whether such increases in undergraduate gerodontology teaching in German-speaking countries between 2004 and 2009 occurred. Questionnaires were mailed in 2004 and 2009 to all deans (n=37) and all department heads (n=140) of Austrian, Swiss, and German dental schools. Results show that gerodontology is still mostly included in traditional core subjects but that specific lecture series and practical teaching have increased. These cover a broad variety of subjects including geriatric medicine, gerontopsychiatry, nursing care, pharmacology, and public health. The number of departments with dedicated staff for gerodontology, research activities, and mean number of publications has increased. Barriers to the further integration of the subject include its continued exclusion from final examinations in Austria and Germany. Guidelines of the European College of Gerodontology (2009), which aim to prepare students to provide dental treatment to seniors by teaching theoretical knowledge, practical skills, patient management techniques, and the ethical foundation of gerodontology, need to be implemented. Continued professional education of faculty in all departments, intensified cooperation between universities, and the presence of faculty specializing in gerodontology are suggested.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Dental Medicine > Clinic for Masticatory Disorders and Complete Dentures, Geriatric and Special Care Dentistry
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:05 Feb 2014 10:11
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:38
Publisher:American Dental Education Association
ISSN:0022-0337
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:http://www.jdentaled.org/content/77/5/630.long
PubMed ID:23658410

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