J Dent Hyg Sci.  2016 Oct;16(5):331-338. 10.17135/jdhs.2016.16.5.331.

Factors Affecting Clinical Competence of Dental Hygienists

  • 1Department of Dental Hygiene, Silla University, Busan 46958, Korea. jka@silla.ac.kr


This study sought to examine the factors influencing clinical competence of dental hygienists. A survey on burnout, critical thinking tendency, self-esteem, self-leadership, professional self-concept and clinical competence was conducted with 254 dental hygienists using self-administered questionnaires. Correlation analysis was performed between study variables, and linear regression analysis identified factors influencing clinical competence. To determine a causal relationship among these factors, a path analysis was conducted at the 0.05 level of significance. Relationships among research variables showed significant positive correlations (p<0.01). Self-esteem, self-leadership, and professional self-concept were found to influence clinical competence (p<0.01). A causal relationship was also found among variables influencing clinical competence. Burnout and critical thinking had an indirect effect, whereas self-esteem, professional self-concept, and self-leadership had both direct and indirect effects. In conclusion, important factors influencing clinical competence of dental hygienists include self-esteem, self-leadership, and professional self-concept. Based on these findings, programs to enhance clinical competence of dental hygienists should be developed.


Clinical competence; Dental hygienists; Professional self-concept; Self-esteem; Self-leadership
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