Date of Award

Spring 2018


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Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene


Purpose: The Regional Initiatives in Dental Education (RIDE) program at the University of Washington (UW) allows first year dental students to take courses with Eastern Washington University dental hygiene (DH) students. This study was conducted to see if the RIDE program is effective as an Intraprofessional Education (IntraPE) program in improving dentists’ attitudes towards teamwork and understanding the roles and responsibilities of the DH.

Methods: UW School of Dentistry alumni from 2012-2017 were invited to participate in this study. Attitudes towards teamwork and roles and responsibilities were assessed using two online surveys: a demographic survey containing open-ended questions, and a quantitative survey containing 12 Likert scale questions. RIDE and non-RIDE participant responses were compared and tested for statistical significance.

Results: There were 26 (54.2%) RIDE alumni respondents and 51 (14.1%) non-RIDE alumni respondents for a total of 77 responses. RIDE alumni had IntraPE experiences whereas non-RIDE may or may not have had IntraPE as a formal part of their curriculum. While the majority of RIDE participants (61.5%) agreed or strongly agreed that IntraPE was useful overall and improved attitudes towards teamwork, there were no statistically significant differences between RIDE and non-RIDE. There was statistical significance (p = .014) in responses for understanding of roles and responsibilities between the RIDE (mean = 3.39) and non-RIDE (mean = 3.69). Responses to open-ended questions suggest largely positive attitudes towards IntraPE for RIDE alumni, including teamwork and roles and responsibilities. The largest percentage of responses from non-RIDE participants (n = 20, 47%) shows they think formal IntraPE curriculum would have benefited their education while in dental school. Other studies show clinical IntraPE is the best way to improve understanding of roles and responsibilities between health professionals.

Conclusion: The quantitative data shows inconclusive evidence that the RIDE program is effective in improving attitudes towards teamwork and roles and responsibilities when compared to non-RIDE dentists. More research is needed to determine how to improve attitudes towards teamwork. This study supports the RIDE curriculum change in 2015 to primarily clinical IntraPE with DH students to help dentists understand roles and responsibilities of the DH.