An Innovative HIV Training Program for Dental Hygiene Students.

Journal of dental hygiene : JDH / American Dental Hygienists' Association

PubMedID: 23433698

Zaninovic P, Natto ZS, Turner RL, Toledo GA, Duran GG, Trott JR, Rogers TC. An Innovative HIV Training Program for Dental Hygiene Students. J Dent Hyg. 2013;87(1):47-55.
Patients with HIV/AIDS deserve to be treated with compassion and receive comprehensive care by their dentist and dental hygienists. Previous studies have shown that many dental and dental hygiene students had negative attitudes towards treating such individuals. This article addresses the effectiveness of a program that trains dental hygiene students in the issues of treating this population. All pre-doctoral students at the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry are required to receive this training. Dental hygiene students complete a pre-session survey during their first year and a post-session survey as they complete the training during their second year. The survey questionnaire was administered during the period of 2003 to 2009, during which 197 students completed responses to the post-session survey. Five questions in the survey address self-evaluation of knowledge, attitudes, confidence in the efficacy of Universal Precautions and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) following blood borne exposures. This study reports on 5 overlapping 2 year testing cycles and shows significant shifts in all 5 areas surveyed. The most significant gains were in "Familiarity with PEP" and "Confidence in the Efficacy of PEP." These data support the usefulness of an HIV program in preparing future dental hygienists to deliver appropriate care to persons living with HIV/AIDS.