Cultural Competence and Influencing Factors of Dental Hygiene Students

  • Han, Ji-Hyoung (Department of Dental Hygiene, Suwon Science College) ;
  • Kim, Ki-Eun (Department of Dental Hygiene, College of Health Science, Eulji University)
  • Received : 2017.04.14
  • Accepted : 2017.05.28
  • Published : 2017.06.30


The purpose of this study was to investigate the level of cultural competence and its influencing factors among 530 dental hygiene students. The analysis was performed using PASW Statistics ver. 18.0, and the following conclusions were drawn. Cultural knowledge levels showed a significant difference according to general characteristics in four components of cultural competence levels. Cultural competence and its four components were higher in subjects who have a religion (p<0.05). The differences in cultural competence levels according to culture-related characteristics are as follows. In individuals with experience of taking foreign culture-related classes, intention to work overseas, or fluency in a foreign language, cultural competence levels and its four components such as cultural comfort, knowledge, awareness, and behavior intent were higher (p<0.05). Intention of overseas employment was the factor most strongly influencing the level of cultural competence of the subjects. The more intention the subjects have to work overseas, the more they have experienced foreign culture-related lessons, the more fluently they speak a foreign language, and the higher level of cultural competency they reached (p<0.05). As the research results show, it is necessary to establish a continuing plan to understand and communicate with individuals of other cultures through foreign language and foreign culture classes in schools in order to improve the level of cultural competence. This education would reduce the fear and stress that subjects might make a mistake in meeting with people from other cultures, and it could be a preparatory process to actively carry out dental hygiene practice with foreigners.


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