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Concept: Semantic differential

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AIM: (i) To assess the impact of primary root canal treatment on the perceived quality of life amongst a cohort of Jordanian patients, (ii) to assess this cohort’s satisfaction of their primary root canal treatment, and (iii) to evaluate the association of the level of training and experience of clinicians with these two parameters. METHODOLOGY: A systematic random sample of 302 subjects was selected from patients who attended undergraduate, graduate and specialty clinics of Jordan University of Science and Technology. Participants were interviewed before and two weeks after completion of root canal treatment. The study instrument included the Oral Health Impact Profile questionnaire (Dugas et al. 2002) and seven semantic differential scales. Data analyses included descriptive statistics and nonparametric analyses. RESULTS: More than 90% of subjects reported improvements in the sense of taste, pain, eating, altering food temperature, self-consciousness, waking up during sleep, interruption of meals, difficulty to relax and difficulty to sleep after root canal treatment. There was no significant difference in terms of improvement amongst patients treated by specialists, graduate students or undergraduate students. The overall semantic differential score of intraoperative pain, pleasantness, chewing ability and general satisfaction was about 8. Satisfaction of root canal treatment by specialists was higher in terms of time involved, intraoperative pain, pleasantness and general satisfaction than those treatments by undergraduate students. Patients treated by specialist were least satisfied with the treatment cost compared to those patients treated by graduate or undergraduate students. CONCLUSIONS: The impact of root canal treatment on the quality of life was apparent. Satisfaction with root canal treatment approximates 8 on the semantic differential scale with preference for specialists over dental students.

Concepts: Psychometrics, Root canal, Endodontic therapy, Endodontics, Educational stages, Postgraduate education, Bachelor's degree, Semantic differential

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Social desirability can influence reports of stigma change in that subscribing to stigmatizing attitudes might pose a threat to personal beliefs of open-mindedness, while endorsing difference might not be as troubling. A measure is needed that assesses stigma change but is less susceptible to desirability effects. This study examined the psychometrics of various assessments of perceived difference from a person with mental illness. A total of 460 participants were recruited online using Amazon׳s Mechanical Turk. Four measures of difference, the Likert Scale of Difference, Semantic Differential: Similar-Different Scale, Semantic Differential: Mental Illness versus Other Illness scale, and Cause of Perceived Difference Scale were compared to measures of stereotypes, affirming attitudes, and care seeking. A vignette describing a person with mental illness anchored the Difference Scale and a measure of stereotype. Results showed that measures of difference yielded significantly higher endorsements than measures of stereotypes; the Semantic Differential Scale: Similar-Different was endorsed at a higher rate than other difference scales. Difference scores were positively related to stereotypes and inversely related to affirming attitudes. Difference was also found to influence empowerment separate from, and in addition to stereotype. These results suggest a new domain as an efficient and sensitive measure of stigma change.

Concepts: Psychometrics, Scale, Social psychology, Likert scale, Rating scale, General semantics, Semantic differential, Thurstone scale

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The objectives of the present study were to 1) assess student attitudes to physiology, 2) evaluate student opinions about the influence of an objective structured practical examination (OSPE) on competence, and 3) assess the validity and reliability of an indigenously designed feedback questionnaire. A structured questionnaire containing 16 item statements, 8 items on an Osgood’s 5-point semantic differential scale and 8 items on a Likert’s 5-point scale, was used. Options were assigned scores of 1-5 according to weightage. For Osgood’s semantic differential scale items, a χ(2)-test was done to analyze student attitudes toward the subject. For Likert scale items, mean score and SD were calculated to analyze student opinions of the OSPE. Item validity was assessed by item analysis, and reliability was assessed by calculating Crohnbach’s α. The subject as a whole was interesting to 82% of the students (n = 135). The theory was interesting to 75% of the students (n = 132) but complex to 42% (n = 118). The practical was interesting to 93% of the students (n = 134); 76% of the students (n = 104) felt that the practical was simple, whereas 4% felt it was complex. The OSPE was interesting to 79% of the students (n = 131); 57% of the students (n = 116) felt it was simple, whereas 24% found it complex. Components of the subject, intricateness, and student interests were strongly associated. Students chose options on a higher weight scale, favoring the OSPE. Items were found to be valid and reliable. In conclusion, the subject of physiology was interesting but not simple to understand. Student interests varied with the components of the subject, and the components of the subject had varied intricateness. Students were in favor of the OSPE for assessment. The questionnaire used for the study was valid and reliable.

Concepts: Assessment, Psychometrics, Reliability, Likert scale, Rating scale, Summative assessment, Semantic differential, Thurstone scale