Information technology (IT) can make a powerful contribution to dental education and practice. The aim of the present study was to determine access, knowledge and usage of IT among dental students of Islamic Azad University of Esfahan in 2015.
We conducted a cross-sectional study using a stratified random sampling method in 2016. A validated self-administered questionnaire requested information from 150 dental students. Mann-Whitney U, Spearman correlation coefficient and Linear Regression Model served for statistical analyses.
Among dental students, 58.9 % were women and 41.1% were man.Only 1.3% indicated that they had no access to a computer, and 4% did not have a personal email. Most students reported their access to computer (67.1%) and internet (70%) as good. Mean score of IT knowledge was 11(SD 1.7; range 7-14). However, most were not familiar with any general (78.6%) and professional dental websites (72.6%). Regarding general use of IT, most students reported daily use of social networks (87.8%) but just 10.3% had checked their emails on a daily basis. Professional use of IT among students was poor (only 11.3% reported daily use of professional dental websites and 12.7% had downloaded educational materials on a daily basis). Students with higher knowledge of IT and those who had reported more general IT usage, showed higher level of professional use (P-value<0.05).
Dental students’ access to IT was good, however, their professional performance was poor. Regarding the importance of IT in dentistry, it’s essential to inform students about dental informatics and its professional performance.
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