Students' comfort level in treating vulnerable populations and future willingness to treat: results prior to extramural participation.

Abstract
This study analyzed senior dental students' perceptions prior to extramural rotations for comfort and future willingness to treat patients with special needs and other vulnerable groups. The sample included 690 University of Iowa senior dental students who graduated from 1992 through 2004. These students completed a questionnaire concerning twelve vulnerable population groups. Logistic regression models were performed, using student comfort and future willingness to treat each group as the dependent variable. There was a wide percentage of range of comfort with these groups, yet there was no individual group that more than 60 percent of these students were willing to treat in their future practices. Generally, prior experience with the group had a positive impact on comfort level. When gender was included in the regression models, male students were more likely to express comfort. In all instances except one, experience had a positive influence on perceived future willingness to treat the associated group. However, younger graduates had a greater willingness to treat. When controlling for other variables within the future willingness to treat models, comfort was statistically significant only for HIV+/AIDS and non-English speaking groups. This study provides insight about comfort with and perceived future willingness to treat special needs and other vulnerable patient groups.
Kuthy, R. A., McQuistan, M. R., Riniker, K. J., Heller, K. E., & Qian, F. (2005). Students' comfort level in treating vulnerable populations and future willingness to treat: results prior to extramural participation. Journal Of Dental Education, 69(12), 1307-14. http://doi.org/10.1002/bdra.20726