An assessment of prescribing skills among dental students in the eastern province, Saudi Arabia, University of Dammam

Hassan Ayesh Alali, Hassan Abdulmohsen Alali, Abdulrahman Abdullah Alghamdi, Abdulaziz Ibrahim Al Ali, Ahmed Hassan Alkhalaf, Balgis Jaffar


Background: The objectives of the study were to assess knowledge and prescription skills of medications among dental student in Dammam University and evaluate the efficiency of an online application in improving their knowledge.

Methods: A cross sectional pre-post study was conducted, a total of 96 students from 4th year to interns were enrolled. A formulated questionnaire was distributed to the students. An application that contained the most common drugs used in dentistry was made by the research team with help of the IT department and then launched. The same questionnaire was distributed again after one month from the time they got the application to evaluate its efficiency.

Results: Overall knowledge about medications was poor. Fifth year students reported better knowledge than their colleagues. All students have better knowledge about antibiotics compared to other drugs. Overall knowledge about therapeutic agents improved significantly after the web application (p˂0.001).

Conclusions: Students have poor knowledge about medications. Using technology is an effective way to improve prescribing skill among dental students.


Dental students, Drugs prescription, Pharmacology

Full Text:



Guzmán-Álvarez R, Medeiros M, Lagunes LIR, Campos-Sepúlveda AE. Knowledge of drug prescription in dentistry students. Drug, Healthcare and Patient Safety. 2012;4:55-9.

Mendonca JM, Lyra DP Jr., Rabelo JS, Siqueira JS, Balisa-Rocha BJ, Gimenes FR, et al. Analysis and detection of dental prescribing errors at primary health care units in Brazil. PWS. 2010;32(1):30-5.

Teresa Espinosa-Meléndez M. An Evaluation of the Pharmacological Knowledge of Undergraduate and Graduate Students at UNAM'S Faculty of Dentistry; 2006.

Rauniar GP, Roy RK, Das BP, Bhandari G, Bhattacharya SK. Prescription writing skills of pre-clinical medical and dental undergraduate students. JNMA. 2008;47(172):197-200.

Inappropriate prescribing. Available at: Accessed on 3 June 2018.

Aronson JK. A prescription for better prescribing. British J Clin Pharmacol. 2006;61(5):487-91.

Yagiela JA, Dowd FJ, Mariotti A, Neidle EA. Pharmacology and Therapeutics for Dentistry - E-Book: Elsevier Health Sciences; 2010.

Dentdrug. Available at: store/apps/details? Accessed on 3 June 2018.

Wali A, Ali A, Siddiqui TM, Jafri H. Assessing Prescription Writing Skills of House Officers in Dental Teaching Hospitals of Karachi, Pakistan. 2012: 294-296.

de Moura CS, Naves JOS, Coelho EB, Lia EN. Assessment of quality of prescription by dental students. J Applied Oral Sci. 2014;22(3):204-8.

Hew KF, Cheung WS. Use of Web 2.0 technologies in K-12 and higher education: The search for evidence-based practice. Edu Res Rev. 2013;9:47-64.

Kamarudin G, Penm J, Chaar B, Moles R. Educational interventions to improve prescribing competency: a systematic review. BMJ open 2013;3(8):e003291.

Akram A, Zamzam R, Mohamad NB, Abdullah D, Meerah SM. An assessment of the prescribing skills of undergraduate dental students in Malaysia. J Dent Educ. 2012;76(11):1527-31.