Document Type : Original Article



INTRODUCTION: Inequalities persists in distribution, accessibility, and utilization of oral health
services between urban and rural population. One approach to lessen this inequality is by incorporating
rural outreach programs in the academic curriculum of health‑care professionals.
OBJECTIVES: The objective of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of outreach
programs on academic development, personal development, and civic responsibilities of dental
students and also to assess the changes in the domain scores within and between genders
METHODOLOGY: The study population consisted of 100 dental students. The study methodology
followed a before and after without control informal experimental study designs. At baseline, the
participants were administered pretested structured questionnaire developed by D. Diaz Gallegos.
Intervention involved posting participants in various rural outreach activities and academic field visits in
various public health installations. Apostintervention questionnaire developed by Anu F. Shinnamon et al.
was administered to assess the change from the baseline. The change in domain scores was assessed
using paired and unpaired t‑test appropriately. P ≤ 0.05 was considered as statistically significant.
RESULTS: The baseline scores of academic, personal, and civic domains were 6.05 ± 2.44,
8.04 ± 2.84, and 6.36 ± 2.23 which increased to 6.52 ± 2.10, 13.56 ± 3.44, and 8.55 ± 2.71
postintervention, respectively (P ≤ 0.05). When comparing within genders, there was increase from
the baseline, and this change in the scores postintervention was statistically significant (P = 0.001).
The mean scores of all three domains between genders were statistically insignificant.
CONCLUSION: The outreach programs developed and enhanced the subject’s academic skills,
leadership qualities, self‑confidence, communication skills, managerial skills, and responsibilities
toward the rural community.


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