A problem-based learning tutorial for dental students regarding elderly residents in a nursing home in Japan

Yoshizo Matsuka, Ryu Nakajima, Haruna Miki, Aya Kimura, Manabu Kanyama, Hajime Minakuchi, Shigehiko Shinkawa, Hiroya Takiuchi, Kumiko Nawachi, Kenji Maekawa, Hikaru Arakawa, Takuo Fujisawa, Wataru Sonoyama, Atsushi Mine, Emilio Satoshi Hara, Takeshi Kikutani, Takuo Kuboki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This educational trial was an eight-day problem-based learning (PBL) course for fourth-year predoctoral students at Okayama University's dental school who interviewed elderly residents living in a nursing home. The purpose of this PBL course was to introduce geriatric dentistry to the students by allowing them, independently, to discover the clinical problems of elderly patients as well as the solutions. The sixty-five students were divided into nine small groups and received patient information (age, gender, degree of care needed, medical history, food type, medications, and oral condition) in datasheets before visiting the nursing home. Each group of students directly interviewed one patient and the caregivers and identified the patient's medical, psychological, and social problems. After the interview, the students participated in a PBL tutorial to delineate a management approach for the patient's problems. To measure the efficacy of this program, the students completed a questionnaire before and after the course regarding their level of understanding of and attitudes toward geriatric dentistry, clinical research, and self-study. The results showed that students' perceptions of their knowledge about and attitudes toward oral health care for the elderly significantly increased after the PBL course, which suggests that such tutorials should be an option for dental curricula.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1580-1588
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2012


  • Dementia
  • Dental education
  • Dental students
  • Dependent elderly
  • Health care for the elderly
  • Japan
  • Nursing homes
  • Patients with special needs
  • Problem-based learning
  • Systemic disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Dentistry(all)


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