Computer literacy, skills and knowledge among dentists and dental care professionals (DCPs) within primary care in Scotland

John Gibson, Karen Jack, James Rennie


Objective To gain a better understanding of the level of literacy in information technology (IT) across the dental team working within primary care in Scotland, thus allowing appropriate planning of education and training for effective use of IT.
Design A postal questionnaire survey of all dentists and dental care professionals (DCPs) within primary care in Scotland; online reply was also an option.
Setting General dental practice and the salaried dental service, May 2004.
Subjects and methods 2679 dentists and 2861 DCPs were surveyed.
Results Forty-three percent of respondents considered their IT skills to be 'moderate', with a further one-third reporting 'nil' or 'low' skill level. Only a quarter of respondents had accessed a learning programme by computer.The majority of IT competence was self-acquired.
Conclusions 'Upskilling' the dental team in IT may be required in order to take advantage of e-learning opportunities available now and in the future.


dental care professionals; dentistry; ICT

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