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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 56-61

Evaluation of attitude and behaviour of Nigerian dental students to their research dissertations by their academic supervisors

Department of Child Dental Health, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Prof. O D Otuyemi
Faculty of Dentistry, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njhs.njhs_19_20

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Background/Aim: This study aimed to evaluate supervisors' perceptions of the attitudes and behaviour of undergraduate dental students to their dissertation projects. Materials and Methods: A questionnaire survey of all academic staff of the Faculty of Dentistry, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria, who were involved in the training and supervision of final-year dental students' dissertations between 2013 and 2017 was carried out to record the supervisors' perceptions of their supervisees' behaviour, performance, preparedness and the challenges encountered during their research work. Data were analysed using descriptive and analytical statistics with SPSS version 16. Statistical significant level was set at P < 0.05. Results: Seventeen of the 19 eligible academic staff participated in the study. Most supervisors (70%) especially of the male gender and the senior supervisors perceived the supervisees as inexperienced and lacked good understanding of the dissertation process even though majority of supervisees (58.8%) were motivated. Nevertheless, more than one-half (52.9%) were perceived to have improved in the course of the project. The perception of male supervisors with regards to the importance attached to dissertation process by supervisees was significantly ranked low (3.8+0.7) when compared to the female supervisors (5.6+0.5) (P<0.05). The supervisees' challenges were in the domain of understanding the research process and meeting deadlines. Conclusion: Supervisees were perceived to be motivated, but majority of the supervisors, particularly, the male and senior supervisors, felt that the supervisees were inadequately prepared and lacked good understanding of dissertation process as a result of limited academic research experience, poor supervision and guidance.

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