Skills in assessing the professional literature (sapl): A 7-year analysis of student ebd performance

Ralph V. Katz, Hebba A. Shamia, Bianca A. Dearing, Paul D.S. Kang, Lin Li, Andy Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose The primary goal of this project was to describe the level of knowledge acquisition using detailed test performance outcomes of the EBD SAPL curriculum over its first 7-years of implementation at the NYU College of Dentistry. A secondary goal was to compare performance outcomes impact of the full 60 h base SAPL curriculum as taught to 4-year DDS students vs an abbreviated 30 h base SAPL curriculum as taught to 3-year Advanced Placement DDS students.

Methods The findings for the period 2004-2010 are reported for 1647 dental students (63.6% 4-year DDS students, 36.3% 3-year Advanced Placement DDS students). The database consisted of the score earned by each student on each individual question of the SAPL course's 4 h final examination in which each student read an original research article and answered all questions on the Literature Analysis Form.

Results The major findings were overall high performance by both groups of students (SAPL exam scores of 85.8 vs 83.7, respectively) as well as very similar outcomes between these two student groups on: 1) recognizing research design elements and on interpreting those design elements for clinical application, 2) detailed performance of knowledge within the specific five traditional sections of research articles, and 3) detailed performance across 18 identified research design topics.

Conclusion In conclusion, both course formats appear to be highly effective for their respective student groups, but should not be interpreted as evidence favoring the shorter format given the different characteristics of the two student groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-110
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • Dental education
  • Educational methodology
  • Evidence-based dentistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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