Attitudes of Korean Dental Students Toward Individuals with Special Health Care Needs
Hyo-Seol Lee ; Hoi In Jung ; Jae-Ho Lee ; Re Mee Doh ; Jiyoen Kim ; Seon-Mi Kim
Journal of Dental Education, Vol.79(9) : 1024~1030, 2015
Journal of Dental Education
The purposes of this study were to ascertain the attitudes of dental students toward individuals with special health care needs (SHCNs) in Korea and to elucidate the characteristics associated with these attitudes. The authors recruited students from four of the 11 dental schools in Korea to participate in a survey; these schools were selected for regional balance. The Scale of Attitudes toward Disabled Persons (SADP) was used as the primary survey instrument, and ten independent variables were included. Of the 1,100 possible participants, 1,057 responded to the survey, for a response rate of 96.1%. The results showed that although the students' attitudes did not differ significantly by gender, their attitudes did show statistically significant differences on nine other variables: age, year, religion, self-esteem, friends with a disability, volunteering, admission course, concern for individuals with SHCNs, and intention to treat individuals with SHCNs (all p<0.05). The attitudes of these Korean dental students toward individuals with SHCNs were relatively unfavorable, showing lower SADP scores than reported in Western countries and likely reflecting Eastern cultural values in general. Future efforts should place greater emphasis on special care dentistry education and encourage the development of more favorable attitudes regarding the treatment of individuals with SHCNs.