Perceived stress and well-being in UK and Australian dental hygiene and dental therapy students Academic Article uri icon


  • INTRODUCTION:This study aimed to explore United Kingdom (UK) and Australian (Aus) dental hygiene and dental therapy students' (DHDTS) perception of stress and well-being during their undergraduate education. Upon qualification, DHDTS in the UK register as dental therapists (DT), and in Australia, they register as Oral Health Therapists (OHT). MATERIALS AND METHODS:A questionnaire was distributed to years 1, 2 and 3 DHDTS at the University of Portsmouth Dental Academy (UPDA) in the UK and La Trobe Rural Health School in Australia. The questionnaire consisted of 5 well-used measurement instruments which included the following: Dental Environment Stress questionnaire (DES); Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21); Scales of Psychological Well-Being (SPWB); Valuing Questionnaire (VQ); and the Adult Hope Scale (AHS) to collect data on students' perception of levels of stress and well-being. RESULTS:A response rate of 58% (UK) and 55% (Australia) was achieved. Clinical factors and academic work were perceived as stressful for DHDTS in both the UK and Australia. The Australian DHDTS-perceived stress in the educational environment was significantly higher (P < .002) than the UK DHDTS. The majority of respondents reported levels of depression, anxiety and stress to be within the normal-to-moderate range. All students reported high levels of positive well-being, with no significant differences between the 2 groups. CONCLUSIONS:DHDTS in the UK and Australia identified sources of stress within their undergraduate education, but also perceived themselves as positively functioning individuals.

publication date

  • 2018