KNOWLEDGE AND ATTITUDE OF STUDENTS REGARDING ETHICS AND ITS ROLE IN DENTAL STUDIES; A VIGNETTE BASED STUDY
Professional ethics is an integral part of dental practice as it ensures that quality dental care is being provided to the patients and that a healthy working environment can be established.
The objective of this study was to assess the knowledge of ethics in students of third year and final year B.D.S exposed to the clinical setup and determine the importance of ethics in the dental curriculum.
A cross-sectional study was conducted among 3rd year and 4th year BDS students of Foundation University College of Dentistry, Islamabad from May 2019 to July 2019.
Data was collected through a questionnaire which included 8 questions highlighting the importance of four basic principles of ethics; autonomy, justice, beneficence and non-maleficence. Data was evaluated using SPSS version 17 by comparing mean score of both classes and mean of individual principles of ethics. A total of 95 students of both classes were included in the study. Sixty-six students responded and participated in the survey. The mean age and standard deviation were 21.4 ± 1.2. Female students were 86.4% and 13.6% were males.
The mean score and S.D of 3rd year was 4.91 ±1.44. For final year the scores were 4.41 ±1.65.
Comparison of statistics for each ethical principle revealed that students had most knowledge about Non maleficence with a score of 1.65±2, Beneficence= 1.32±2, Justice=1.03±2, and Autonomy=0.74±2. In conclusion ethics should be included in the dental curriculum in dental colleges all over Pakistan, not only as a topic but as a separate subject which is examined and evaluated.