Identification of semester-specific teaching contents for dental ethics: development, testing and validation of a questionnaire

Katja Goetz, Ann Christine Gutermuth*, Hans Jürgen Wenz, Dominik Groß, Katrin Hertrampf

*Corresponding author for this work


Background: Although medical ethics is an indispensable part of dental education, it has not played a relevant role in the dental curriculum thus far. This study is aimed at developing and validating a questionnaire that identifies semester-specific ethical issues, in order to develop longitudinal ethic modules. Methods: March 2018 a workshop on item generation was coordinated, using Delphi method; followed by a cognitive testing with students (2nd, 4th, 10th semesters, n = 12). A pilot test was carried out with students from different semesters (n = 60). The distribution of response frequencies and missing values were determined. The questionnaire used for validation consisted of three dimensions: ethical knowledge, dealing with ethical issues, expectations in terms of teaching. The psychometric examination was carried out by preclinical students (n = 105) and clinical semesters (n = 110) January 2019. Results: After cognitive testing and piloting, some items were reformulated, so that a questionnaire with 127 items was used for validation. The individual dimensions were assigned to various factors with excellent to acceptable internal consistency (Cronbach’s α 0.72–0.96). Conclusion: The questionnaire has an acceptable to excellent consistency and suggests that the different dimensions are conclusive. With this questionnaire, ethical issues in dentistry can be mapped and teaching contents identified.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)109
Publication statusPublished - 17.02.2021

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Center for Population Medicine and Public Health (ZBV)


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