Journal of Dental Hygiene
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine policies and practices regarding magnification loupes among faculty and students in accredited dental hygiene programs as measured by a 31 item, self-designed questionnaire. In addition, the study compared policies among dental hygiene programs in 2 year versus 4 year programs in terms of requirements for the use of magnification loupes.
Methods: After institutional review board approval, a 31 item self-designed questionnaire was emailed via Survey Monkey to 303 entry-level dental hygiene programs. An overall response rate of 75% was obtained. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and chi-square test of independence.
Results: Results reveal the vast majority of programs do not require loupes for faculty or students, with only 23% of responding schools requiring students to purchase loupes and 8% requiring faculty to use loupes. More dental hygiene programs require students to wear loupes than require faculty to wear loupes. No statistically significant differences (p-value=0.54) in program policies were found requiring the purchase of magnifying loupes by students, based on 2 year and 4 year dental hygiene educational programs. Odds ratio (1.25) give the odds of students purchasing loupes in a 2 year program as 25% higher than a 4 year program. Almost two thirds of respondents reported loupes instruction as a curriculum component, although most respondents spent 2 or less hours teaching in this area. Most programs (90%) do not plan to require students to purchase loupes in the future, although the majority believes proper use of loupes should be integrated in the curriculum.
Conclusion: Most respondents see advantages to loupes, but clinical policies on loupes do not appear to correlate with beliefs. Educational programs in dental hygiene seem slow to adopt and require the use of loupes. Current clinical polices on loupes should be reviewed to ensure graduates experience the potential ergonomic benefits magnification brings to clinical practice during their education.
Original Publication Citation
Congdon, L. M., Tolle, S. L., & Darby, M. (2012). Magnification Loupes in U.S. Entry-level Dental Hygiene Programs - Occupational Health and Safety. Journal of Dental Hygiene, 86(3), 215-222.
Congdon, Leslie McHaney; Tolle, Susan Lynn; and Darby, Michele, "Magnification Loupes in U.S. Entry-Level Dental Hygiene Programs - Occupational Health and Safety" (2012). Dental Hygiene Faculty Publications. 3.