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Effectiveness of educational strategies to teach evidence-based dentistry to undergraduate dental students: a systematic review

Abstract

Objectives

Evidence-based dentistry (EBD) training has been widely promoted in dental schools around the world and policymakers ask for suitable strategies to teach EBD within undergraduate dental education. The present study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies on dental students’ knowledge, attitude, and skills.

Methods

PubMed, Embase, Scopus, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Eric databases were searched using search terms obtained from Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms and free text method without time restrictions, up to November 2022. The identified articles were screened based on titles and abstracts for inclusion criteria. Subsequently, relevant articles underwent data extraction. Finally, the risk of bias was assessed through Joanna Briggs Institute critical appraisal checklists.

Results

Twelve of 439 studies were included: nine quasi‐experimental studies, two cross‐sectional, and one randomized controlled trial study. Regarding the overlap among categories, six studies assessed knowledge, seven assessed attitude, and eight focused on skills or performance in EBD. Due to the heterogeneity of the interventions and results of included studies, a meta-analysis was not performed. EBD was mostly taught in small group collaborations. Interventions included lectures, workshops, seminars, small group sessions, journal clubs, online sessions, or a combination of them in various frequencies and duration.

Conclusions

EBD implementation into dental curricula is improving through strategies including designing continuing and frequent dental education courses, establishing collaborative student research groups, utilizing online tools for EBD education, and dividing EBD courses into shorter modules.

The systematic review protocol was registered in PROSPERO (ID: CRD42022350238).

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Fig. 1: Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta‐Analysis (PRISMA) flow chart.

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Data availability

Requests for further data should be addressed to Mohammad Mehdi Naghibi Sistani.

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Acknowledgements

This present study was supported by Babol University of Medical Sciences.

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MMNS designed research, reviewed the literature, analyzed data, and revised manuscript. SK designed research, conducted research, reviewed the literature, extracted data, and prepared the manuscript. SS designed research, conducted research, reviewed the literature, extracted data, and revised manuscript. BT designed research and revised manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Mohammad Mehdi Naghibi Sistani.

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Kachabian, S., Seyedmajidi, S., Tahani, B. et al. Effectiveness of educational strategies to teach evidence-based dentistry to undergraduate dental students: a systematic review. Evid Based Dent 25, 53–54 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41432-023-00958-5

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