Implications of motivation differences in preclinical-clinical transition of dental students: A one-year follow-up study

Cesar Orsini, Vivian I. Binnie, Fernando Fuentes, Priscilla Ledezma, Oscar Jerez

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21 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Patient contact and clinical-based learning have been suggested as positive determinants of student motivation. However, few studies have been conducted on how this impacts dental student motivation. Based on the self-determination theory, this study aims to explore differences in the quality of motivation of dental student transition from preclinical (no previous patient contact) to clinical courses.  Methods: A longitudinal study was conducted with 95 Chilean students who completed the Academic Motivation Scale in two iterations over a one-year period.  Results: Paired t-test showed a significant increase in relative autonomous motivation as well as in amotivation.  Discussions: This suggests that while clinical contact supports student self-determination, an abrupt transition might be associated with maladjustment, which could lead to feelings of inadequacy and anxiety. Future research could usefully explore if early and gradual clinical experiences enhance student adaptation to the clinical context, thus increasing relative autonomous motivation and decreasing amotivation in the time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-196
Number of pages4
JournalEducación Médica
Issue number4
Early online date30 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Chile
  • Dental education
  • Motivation
  • Preclinical-clinical transition
  • Self-determination

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