The Impact of Community Rotations on the Cultural Competence of Dental Hygiene Students in the State of Texas. Academic Article uri icon


  • Purpose: Culturally competent health care providers understand cultural attitudes, values, beliefs and practices and are able to use this knowledge to guide patient care. Rising oral health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities require that dental educators emphasize the attainment of cultural competence in order to prepare students to effectively care for patients with backgrounds different from their own. This study investigated the role of community rotations on the cultural competence of second-year Texas dental hygiene students.Methods: A modified version of the validated self-assessing Clinical Cultural Competency Questionnaire (CCCQ) was given to students at twelve Texas dental hygiene programs with a 100% response rate (239/239). Data analysis was performed using the Kendall tau correlation for associations and Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U tests for differences among and between groups.Results: Students scored highest in attitude (86th percentile). Time spent in community rotations (p=0.009), number of community rotations (p=0.028), racial/ethnic diversity of program clinic patients (p=0.042), and training hours (p=0.044) were associated with increased cultural competence scores. Students with over 50 community rotation hours (p=0.006) scored significantly higher than students with less than 50 hours. Generally, those with four rotations (p=0.002) scored highest. Those with public clinic (p=0.049) and school (p=0.044) rotations scored significantly higher than those without these experiences. Those with nursing home (p=0.009) and hospital (p=0.026) experience scored lower than those without these experiences. Students seeing the most racially/ethnically diverse patients in program clinics scored higher (p=0.014) than students seeing less diverse patients. Those with 6-10 training hours scored higher (p=0.013) than those with other training levels. Hispanics scored significantly higher than whites in skill and overall cultural competence (p 0.005).Conclusion: Dental hygiene programs should invest time in cultural competence training and choose a robust program of community rotations, while considering the diversity of the student body and clinic patient pool to enhance graduates' cultural competence.

published proceedings

  • J Dent Hyg

author list (cited authors)

  • Classe-Cutrone, R. A., McCann, A. L., Campbell, P. R., DeWald, J. P., & Schneiderman, E. D.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Classe-Cutrone, Rita A||McCann, Ann L||Campbell, Patricia R||DeWald, Janice P||Schneiderman, Emet D

publication date

  • January 2017