Self-reported experience of Outreach activities amongst undergraduate Oral Health students at a University in South Africa




Outreach activities, oral health students, dental services, self and social development, academic, civic responsibility


Outreach activities (OAs) are structured learning experiences, combining intentional learning goals with services to underserved communities. Oral health students participated on the Phelophepa Train (PT) and school-based programmes (SBPs) as part of their OAs. To evaluate the self-reported experiences of OA amongst undergraduate oral health students. Cross-sectional which included final year dental (N=62) and oral hygiene students (N= 13) registered in 2019. Information was obtained using a modified, self administered questionnaire which included the number and type of procedures performed; work-related limitations,personal work benefits, academic development and civic responsibility. The response rate was 93% (N=65) and students performed more procedures on the train compared to the SBP. Most common procedures undertaken by dental students were screening (64%) and restorations (56%) for oral hygiene students it was screenings (92%) and examinations, fissure sealants and screenings 39% on the train and 31% at SBPs. The most common challenges on both the train and SBPs were inadequate materials (74%) and (41%), poor infection control (15%) and (41% and defective equipment (31%) and (38%) respectively. Although students performed a variety of clinical services they reported to have faced a number of challenges. The majority of students reported that OAs exposed them to the needs of the communities and encouraged them to improve their independence and accountability towards patients.


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How to Cite

Kruger, C., Nkambule, N. R., & Bhayat, A. (2024). Self-reported experience of Outreach activities amongst undergraduate Oral Health students at a University in South Africa. South African Dental Journal, 79(01), 30–35.