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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 54-61

Stakeholder perception of the professional role and competence of Swedish dental hygienists: A questionnaire and interview study


Department of Dental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Annsofi Johannsen
Department of Dental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Alfred Nobels Allé 8, Huddinge 141 04
Sweden
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_363_19

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Objectives: This study investigated stakeholder opinions on the competence and role of dental hygienists in Sweden. Materials and Methods: A questionnaire was sent by e–mail to 94 stakeholders in eight Swedish counties. The survey queried the competence of recently graduated dental hygienists in skills in collaboration, communication, and problem–solving, and in clinical skills. In addition, 10 stakeholders from different Swedish dental organizations agreed to one–on–one deep interviews. Open–ended questions focused on dental hygienist competence to perform dental hygienist skills and tasks and to collaborate with other dental professionals and health–care professionals. Further topics concerning the dental hygienist included their future role and working in other European countries. The interviews were transcribed and then coded using qualitative conventional content analysis methods. Results: The stakeholder consensus in both the questionnaires and the interviews was that the dental hygienist profession is essential to modern dental care. The professional knowledge possessed by dental hygienists is unique and their role has developed and broadened over the years. Furthermore, the qualitative content analysis of the deep interviews identified a core category: The dental hygienist is an important profession for good oral health. Conclusion: Dental hygienists, responsible for prevention and oral health promotion, are an important members of the modern dental team. The need for dental hygienists to collaborate with other dental and general health–care professionals to meet the future demands of society will increase.


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