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Exploring the term "resilience" as understood and experienced by dental educators

Lookup NU author(s): Charlotte Fulton, Andrew Carr, Dr Chris PenlingtonORCiD


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Introduction Working as a dentist is a demanding and stressful occupation. Resilience is therefore widely thought to be a desirable quality in dentists and these attitudes are likely to be initially formed during undergraduate training. The attitudes and experiences of dental educators are important as they are likely to influence dental undergraduates. This study describes how dentists working within an academic setting understand and experience resilience. Methods A series of qualitative interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 12 dentists working within an academic setting in the UK. All interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim. A structured process of thematic analysis was followed in order to describe key themes that arose in the interviews. Results There was a common acknowledgement that resilience is the result of a dynamic process involving multiple factors. Six factors were described as relating to resilience: background and personal characteristics, environment, life challenges, mood, attitudes and expectations and actions and strategies. Each of these factors was also described as affecting the others in a reciprocal manner. Conclusion The academics in this study described resilience in terms of both personal and environmental factors and their interactions. This understanding could inform the development of programmes designed to enhance resilience for both dental educators and students which might usefully focus on a range of individual and systemic factors.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Fulton C, Carr A, Penlington C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Dental Education

Year: 2021

Volume: 25

Issue: 3

Pages: 573-581

Print publication date: 01/08/2021

Online publication date: 21/11/2020

Acceptance date: 14/11/2020

ISSN (print): 1396-5883

ISSN (electronic): 1600-0579

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd


DOI: 10.1111/eje.12634


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