Training instances related to health psychology and counseling in the curricula of Chilean dentistry undergraduate programs.

Luis Espinoza


Introduction: Recent evidence shows the positive impact of oral health promotion interventions based on psychological models. However, no data exist regarding the training of these skills in Chilean dentistry undergraduate programs. Objective: To identify training instances related to health psychology and counseling in the curricula of Chilean dentistry undergraduate programs. Methodology: Cross-sectional study, the unit of analysis was the curricula of dentistry programs offered by Chilean universities in 2016. Results: Dentistry curricula of 20 Chilean universities were analyzed. On average, each university has 1.95 ± 2.16 courses (semester) related to psychology and/or counseling. Private universities have 1 ± 0.63 courses, while traditional, 3.11 ± 2.80. In 4 (20%) universities it was not possible to identify courses related to this topic, while two universities (both traditional) had 7 and 8 courses in this area, respectively. Conclusion: There are few instances of psychology/counseling training in dentistry programs in Chile. Considering the implementation of a policy focused intensely on health care and the positive impact of the application of psychological models to dental practice it is necessary to give more importance to these competencies in Chilean undergraduate dental education.


Psychology; curriculum; dentistry; Chile.


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