Adelaide Dental School
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Eligible to supervise Masters only (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.
I spent 10 years in full-time private general dental practice; I now coordinate and teach in both the third year and lateral entry (medical and IMU dental) undergraduate programmes of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery course at Adelaide Dental School.
I recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Forensic Odontology (2014) and Master of Philosophy Dentistry (2017); I contributes to odontology casework within the Forensic Odontology Unit of South Australia and am active in general dental research in the Adelaide Dental School. In particular, this currently includes research related to stress as a barrier to optimal clinical performance in third year dental students.
Title: Stress as a Barrier to Optimal Clinical Performance in Third-Year Dental Students
Description of broader project: This study will identify and assist “at-risk” dental students who develop high anxiety/stress during their early exposure to clinical practice. These conditions can seriously impact academic and clinical performance, as well as a student’s duty of care to patients.
The study will utilise existing and additional stress management interventions both before and after clinic activities, as a way to promote effective completion of the dental training program.
This will involve measuring self-reported stress (indexed by a questionnaire) and physiological stress response (indexed by heart rate, heart rate variability and electrocardiogram, or ECG) as a baseline for each individual and then in real-life clinical situations experienced by third year undergraduate dental students in the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) program at the University of Adelaide.
An intervention will also be trialled to reduce anxiety, improve wellbeing and better equip students during their careers as dental practitioners.
1) Use student focus groups and surveys to gain perceptions of anxiety during the early weeks of clinical practice in BDS3.
2) Identify high and low anxiety students and compare stress levels during clinic exposure.
3) Develop and trial an intervention for students to reduce anxiety and improve clinic performance.
Description of specific student role: Student involvement would be part of a broader research project involving staff from dentistry, health and medical sciences, and psychology. The overarching aim of the research is to better equip current dental students with skills to manage both short- and long-term clinical stress during their training and career as dental practitioners. This project will use self-report and physiological data related to stress. While a dental student is welcome to be involved in multiple facets of the project, for a thesis it is anticipated that a student would use both qualitative research methods (surveys) to gain information about dental students’ perceptions of stressors in clinical practice and their current stress management strategies, as well as quantitative analysis of de-identified physiological data.
Project Available for: Honours, Masters, PhD
Commencing: Semester 1 2020
Special Requirements: Nil
Date Position Institution name 2014 - ongoing Forensic Odontologist Forensic Odontology Unit of South Australia 2011 - ongoing Lecturer Adelaide Dental School
Date Institution name Country Title Adelaide Dental School Australia BDS (2000) Adelaide Dental School Australia GDipForOdont (2014) Adelaide Dental School Australia MPhil (Dentistry)
Year Citation 2019 Stow, L., & Higgins, D. (2019). The importance of increasing the forensic relevance of oral health records for improved human identification outcomes. Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, 51(1), 49-56.
DOI Scopus3 WoS1
2019 Gupta, S., Hakim, M., Patel, D., Stow, L. C., Shin, K., Timothé, P., & Nalliah, R. P. (2019). Reaching vulnerable populations through portable and mobile dentistry — Current and future opportunities. Dentistry Journal, 7(3), E75.
DOI Scopus2 Europe PMC1
2018 Stow, L., & Higgins, D. (2018). Development and evaluation of online education to increase the forensic relevance of oral health records. Australian Dental Journal, 63(1), 81-93.
DOI Scopus1 WoS1 Europe PMC1
2016 Stow, L., James, H., & Richards, L. (2016). Australian oral health case notes: assessment of forensic relevance and adherence to recording guidelines. Australian Dental Journal, 61(2), 236-243.
DOI Scopus5 WoS5 Europe PMC3
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