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    The principles of oral health research and critical literature evaluation. Development of a research project and presentation of a brief research report.

    About this paper

    Paper title Applied Oral Health Research
    Subject Dentistry (Oral Health)
    EFTS 0.125
    Points 15 points
    Teaching period Full Year (19 February 2024 - 9 November 2024) (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,130.25
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Limited to

    Teaching staff

    Course Co-ordinator: Dr Lee Adam

    Paper Structure

    This paper enables students to undertake inquiry-based learning through engaging in research. The research topic should be in an area of special interest to the student and the nature of the project should be discussed with the paper co-ordinator. As the paper is student-centred, requiring a significant component of self-directed learning, a timeline of achievable goals through the year will be set.

    The overall objective of this paper is the preparation of a report embodying the design of a research project.

    Teaching Arrangements

    The didactic components of the paper (lectures and tutorials) are completed in semester 1 and generally involve two sessions per week (Wednesday and Friday). Semester 2 is focused on completing a literature review (20% of final grade) and a research proposal (50% of final grade) on topics of the student's choice.


    The following texts and articles are suggested for background reading.

    Additional articles may be recommended during lectures and seminars

    • Measuring Oral Health.

    Coggan D, Rose G, Barker DJP. (2003), Epidemiology for the uninitiated. (5th ed), BMJ Publishing, London (on reserve).

    du Prel J-B, Hommel G, Rohrig B, Blettner M. (2009), Confidence interval or P-value? Deutsches Arzteblatt International 106(19):335-9.

    du Prel J-B, Rohrig B, Blettner M. (2009) Critical Appraisal of Scientific Articles Deutsches Arzteblatt International 106(7):100-105.

    Last JM (ed), (2001), A dictionary of epidemiology (4th ed) Oxford, Oxford University Press (Med Library has lots of editions including the 5th ed).

    Petrie A, Bulman JS, Osborn JF. (2002), Further statistics in dentistry. Part 1: Research designs 1. British Dental Journal 193:377-380 (on e-reserve).

    Petrie A, Bulman JS, Osborn JF. (2002), Further statistics in dentistry. Part 2: Research designs 2. British Dental Journal 193:435-440 (on reserve).

    Bulman JS. (1988), A critical approach to the reading of analytical reports. British Dental Journal 165:180-182 (on reserve).

    Patton, M Quinn, (2002) Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods (3rd ed) Thousand Oaks, Sage Publications.

    Mays N and C Pope, (1995), Rigour and qualitative research, British Medical Journal 311:109-112.

    Young JM Solomon MJ (2009) How to critically appraise an article, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology & Hepatology 6(2):82-91.

    • Reading and Writing a Scientific Paper

    Greenhalgh T, (2010) How to read a paper: the basics of evidence-based medicine, (4th ed) Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell (in the reference section of Dental and Medical libraries).

    Day RA and B Gastel, (2006) How to write and publish a scientific paper, Westport Conn., Greenwood Press (on reserve).

    Aveyard H, (2007) Doing a literature review in health (e-book through library website).

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this paper will meet the following learning outcomes:

    1. Promoting knowledge
      • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of research methods and their application to the delivery and promotion of oral health.
    2. Promoting understanding
      • Demonstrate the ability to critically assess published information in oral health.
    3. Promoting lifelong learning
      • Encourage lifelong learning by providing a stimulating and high-quality learning environment that encourages students to challenge, critique and question knowledge related to oral health.
      • Develop skills in critical appraisal of research to allow the graduate to apply these to review and improve their practice throughout their practising career.


    Full Year (19 February 2024 - 9 November 2024)

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Wednesday 12:00-12:50 9-13, 15-22
    Friday 13:00-13:50 8-12, 15-23
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