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Knowledge, attitudes and practices related to healthcare ethics among medical and dental postgraduate students in south India.

Publisher : Indian journal of medical ethics

Campus : Kochi

School : School of Dentistry

Department : Public Health Dentistry

Year : 2014

Abstract : pConventional medical training offers students little help in resolving the ethical dilemmas they will encounter as healthcare professionals. Objective: This article aims to assess the knowledge of, practices in and attitudes to healthcare ethics among postgraduate medical and dental students. A questionnaire-based, cross-sectional study was carried out at two medical and dental schools in south India. A total of 209 medical and dental students were contacted and at least three were selected from each subspecialty of medicine and dentistry.One hundred and ninety-nine consented to participate and 7 72 returned the questionnaire (response rate 83%). The questionnaire,which was a 35-item pre-tested, self-administered questionnaire,included both closed and open-ended questions. The proposal for the study was approved by the institutional review board (IRB)and the permission of the respective heads of department was obtained. Written consent was obtained from each participant.The returned questionnaires were analysed using SPSS version 7 7 .5. Descriptive analysis was carried out for all the data. The attitudes of the postgraduates of different courses towards practical ethical problems were compared using a Chi square test. Medical and dental postgraduates had obtained their knowledge of bioethics from other sources such as the Internet,newspapers, etcnbsp; followed by their undergraduate training andexperience at work': Nearly 68% of the postgraduates had not undergone any bioethics training. Nearly 98% of the medical postgraduates, as compared to 79% of the dental postgraduates,knew that their institution had an ethics committee. There was a difference between the medical and dental students in terms of their attitude to and knowledge of healthcare ethics, with the former having a superior knowledge of the subject and a better attitude. Conclusions: The medical and dental postgraduates come across ethical issues during their training, but are not equipped to resolve the ethical dilemmas they encounter. The dental postgraduates have less of an appreciation of healthcare ethics than their medical counterparts. The incorporation of a bioethics curriculum in the initial period of the postgraduate programme would be beneficial./p

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