Description and evaluation of an education and communication skills training course in HIV and AIDS for dental consultants.
KeywordsCommunication, Consultants, Curriculum, Dental Care for Chronically Ill, Dentist-Patient Relations, Education, Dental, Continuing, HIV Infections, Humans, Infection Control, Dental, Program Evaluation, Surveys and Questionnaires
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AbstractA 2-day course was organised for dental hospital consultants as part of a project on raising awareness of dental staff about HIV and AIDS. The course comprised an information update, practical experience in the diagnosis of oral conditions and a "hands-on" exercise in infection control. The 2nd day of the course consisted of experiential communication skills training using rôle-play with actors and video feedback. Evaluation of the course showed that the consultants perceived the course to be valuable. There was a general improvement in dentists' confidence in their knowledge, ability to communicate with HIV-positive patients and in talking to staff who are unwilling to provide treatment. These changes are statistically significant and these skills are still being utilized and maintained 2 years later. Information and training packs prepared by multidisciplinary groups using a variety of teaching methods should be made available to those involved in training dental staff.