Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Dental Hygiene








Purpose: Mass fatality incidents can overwhelm local, state and national resources quickly. Dental hygienists are widely distributed and have the potential to increase response teams' capacity. However, appropriate training is required. The literature is void of addressing this type of training for dental hygienists and scant in dentistry. Hence, the purpose of this study was to assess one facet of such training: Whether the use of multimedia is likely to enhance educational outcomes related to mass fatality training.

Methods: A randomized, double-blind, pre- and post-test design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of comparable educational modules for 2 groups: a control group (n=19) that received low media training and a treatment group (n=20) that received multimedia training. Participants were second-year, baccalaureate dental hygiene students. Study instruments included a multiple-choice examination, a clinical competency-based radiology lab scored via a standardized rubric, and an assessment of interest in mass fatality education as a specialty. ANOVA was used to analyze results.

Results: Participants' pre- and post-test scores and clinical competency-based radiology lab scores increased following both educational approaches. Interest in mass fatality training also increased significantly for all participants (p=0.45). There was no significant difference in pre- and post-test multiple choice scores (p=0.6455), interest (p=0.9133) or overall competency-based radiology lab scores (p=0.997) between groups.

Conclusion: Various educational technique may be effective for mass fatality training. However, mass fatality training that incorporates multimedia is an appropriate avenue for training instruction. Continued research about multimedia's role in this specialty area is encouraged.


Article available with permission from the American Dental Hygienists Association.

Original Publication Citation

Newcomb, T., Bruhn, A., Ulmer, L., & Diawara, N. (2015). Performance of dental hygiene students in mass fatality training and radiographic imaging of dental remains. Journal of Dental Hygiene, 89(5), 313-320.