The Dental Values Scale: Development and Validation
Langille, Angela D
Catano, Victor M
Boran, Thomas L
Cunningham, Donald P
Journal of dental education 2010 Dec; 74(12): 1282-93
The purpose of this study was to produce a valid scale for use in measuring the values of dental students and practitioners--the lack of which has impeded research on professionalism in dentistry. Following standard scale development procedures, we had focus groups of dental practitioners (N=23) develop a ninety-nine-item pool of value terms related to dentistry. Next, Canadian dentists (N=449) rated the relevance of each item through an online survey. They also rated the values in a generic values measure, Schwartz's Values Scale. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses identified twenty-five items representing five values: Altruism, Personal Satisfaction, Conscientiousness, Quality of Life, and Professional Status. These values correlate with related dimensions from Schwartz's measure; they also correspond to the values in the American Dental Education Association's statement on professionalism. We then administered the new Dental Values Scale to dental students (N=96) to determine the relationship between practitioner and student values. First-year students were higher in Conscientiousness, Altruism, and Personal Satisfaction than practitioners, but these values decreased over time to those held by the dentists. We discuss the implication of these results and the potential value of the new scale for dental education.
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