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Forms for Nomination of Examiners - Academic Year 2015/16

KNOWLEDGE, MOTIVATION, PROBLEMS AND ATTITUDE OF DENTAL STUDENTS TOWARDS THEIR UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH PROJECTS

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Background: The relevance of research is a fact, its importance in the fields of health
studies traditionally and universally recognized, its role in undergraduate education in the
health fields debatable and the perception of undergraduate students towards it is ambivalent.
There is insufficient data regarding the attitude, motivation, problems experienced and
knowledge of undergraduate research among undergraduate students.
Objective: Objective of the study is to explore the knowledge, problems experienced,
motivation and attitude of students towards undergraduate research.
Study area: The study area was the University of Nairobi Dental School and Referral
Hospital. The study population was the second, third and fourth year undergraduates.
Study design: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study.
Results: A total of 96 students participated in the study of which 57% were male and
43% were female. Only 21 % could give a good definition of research 39 % had an idea and
24 % didn't really know what it was. Study also showed that 31% had positive attitude
towards their research, 44% had a neutral attitude and 25% had a negative attitude. The main
problem experienced had to do with time with over half (52%) of students saying they had
time-related difficulties. The percentage of students who found that they would consider a
career in the field of research after their research experience increased to 71%.
Conclusion: Most students have a neutral motivation towards their research project as they
are doing it but that there is a decrease in motivation before and while doing the project. The
main problems experienced can be summarized as follows from the most common to least
common; time-related, supervisor related, motivation-related, academic-related and financial
related. Most students tend to have a neutral attitude towards research.

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