Academic performance of undergraduate dental students with learning disabilities
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© 2017 British Dental Association. All rights reserved.Aims To compare the academic performance of undergraduate dental students with known learning disabilities (LDs) to their peers.Methods This study analysed the results of students in applied dental knowledge (ADK) progress tests across four cohorts of dental students. A mixed model analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted to compare the performance of students with known disability to their peers. ADK test sitting was treated as a repeated measures variable, and the outcome variable of interest was percentage score on the ADK.Results Students' performance data on five ADK test sittings (ADK15, ADK16, ADK17, ADK18, and ADK19) by disability showed a significant main effect of test but no significant effect of disability or any interaction between disability and test.Conclusions This is the first study that explores the academic performance of dental students with a diagnosis of disability. The findings give reassurance to all stakeholders that, within the study population, students with LDs are not disadvantaged in knowledge-based assessments, demonstrating compliance with the legal obligations. Further research is required to explore how generalisable these findings are, as well as assess academic, clinical, and behavioural attributes of students with learning disabilities.
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