Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene

Committee Director

Brenda Bradshaw

Committee Member

Marsha Voelker

Committee Member

Ann Bruhn

Committee Member

Tara Newcomb

Committee Member

Sinjini Sikdar


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess cognitive and affective learning outcomes of allied dental students following a disaster victim identification (DVI) multi-media learning experience. Methods: A convenience sample (n=41) of senior dental hygiene and dental assisting students from two institutions completed an IRB-exempt DVI learning experience which included a multimedia intervention with a pretest/posttest survey to assess cognitive and affective changes. The multimedia intervention was a PowerPoint presentation with educational text, audio/video recordings, and presented in a virtual synchronous format by one of the researchers. After completing the learning experience, participants were presented with 10 sets of mismatched antemortem (AM) and postmortem (PM) digital bitewing radiographs to test their cognitive ability to indicate identification matches. The researcher-designed seven item 3-point Likert scale pretest/posttest survey completed in Qualtrics by all participants to assess perceived cognitive and affective learning outcomes. Results: Following the learning experience, dental hygiene (n=27) and dental assistant (n=14) students accurately matched at least four out of five radiographic DVI sets for an accuracy rate of 80%. However, a Fisher’s exact test revealed a statistically significant (p=0.013) increase of DVI match performance for dental hygiene compared to dental assistant students. Most participants (n=38, 92%) indicated they felt moderately or extremely confident to assist with DVIs because of curricula from their respective programs. A linear trend test assessed pre and posttest perceived cognitive knowledge of DVI skills and affective attitudes regarding perceived importance of professional DVI volunteerism for mass fatality incidents and revealed statistically significant (p< 0.05) increases for both. Conclusion: Results show a multimedia learning experience may significantly increase allied dental students’ cognitive and affective abilities to aid in DVI efforts. Additional research with larger samples of allied dental students could provide more information about the efficacy of including such learning experiences in curricula where there are current gaps.


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