Journal of dental education | 3 Oct 2017
A Andre, GC Pierre and M McAndrew
Quality of life is a complex construct that affects the overall life satisfaction, emotional well-being, and functioning of individuals. The aim of our study was to assess the quality of life of dental students at one U.S. dental school, using the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL)-BREF, a multi-dimensional, cross-cultural, validated, and reliable survey instrument. Of the 1,437 students invited to participate, 401 students responded, but 17 were excluded because of missing data. The final sample consisted of 384 students for an overall response rate of 27%: response rates by year were first year 32.6%, second year 16.9%, third year 26.6%, and fourth year 24.0%. The results showed that the responding students rated their overall quality of life as good. The Physical Health domain had the highest mean score, while the Psychological domain had the lowest. Females reported higher quality of life than males in the Social Relationships domain. Single students were found to have a lower perceived quality of life than married students. Older students were found to have lower perceived quality of life in the Physical Health and Environment domains. Physical Health domain scores were significantly higher for fourth-year than first-year respondents, while Psychological domain scores were significantly lower for third-year than first-year respondents. Further research is needed to explore the effect of dental school on the quality of life of dental students. Targeted programs to impact students' quality of life at various points in the curriculum may be beneficial.
* Data courtesy of Altmetric.com