Title: 3370 - Students’ Reflections on Community Engagement With Older Adults: Pilot Study


Oluwatunmise Awojobi, King's College London Dental Institute
Anthea Tinker, King's College London
Ali Al Dahwy, King's College London Dental Institute
Abayen Ahilan, King's College London Dental Institute
Kiarash Faryabi-Araghi, King's College London Dental Institute
Vania Hassan, King's College London Dental Institute
Ross Hills, King's College London Dental Institute
Timothy Kwaskowski, King's College London Dental Institute
Pippasha Khan (Presenter)
King's College London Dental Institute

Guanhong Li, King's College London Dental Institute
Jennifer Gallagher, King's College London Dental Institute


Objectives: Older adults represent a growing proportion of the population globally. The impact of oral and dental diseases on health and wellbeing is far-reaching, and older adults need support to maintain oral health in this phase of life. The main aim of this research was to explore how older people may be supported in maintaining their oral health with a secondary aim of testing the feasibility of involving dental students in the research through direct community engagement.

Methods: The approach replicated previous research with architectural students and older adults. Older adults (17) were recruited through community groups in South London. Eight dental students (Years 2 - 4) were recruited via King’s College London Smile Society, which seeks to improve knowledge of oral health in the local community. Co-production of relevant health information, involved two-phase workshops in a Health and Leisure Centre in South London with dental students conducting small group discussions with participants and providing feedback (via leaflets) at the final workshop. Students reflected on their involvement (via questionnaires and discussions). Quantitative data were analysed descriptively and qualitative using thematic analysis.

Results: Findings related to: structure, process and outcome. Structure: students found that running the workshops in a community centre was a positive step that allowed them to engage with older adults without the constraints of a clinical setting. Process: including the preparation they received ahead of workshops, to be adequate although there were issues raised about their ability to properly manage discussions between “strong” characters. Outcome: all students reported that involvement in the workshops had improved their understanding of how older people can be supported and would have a significant impact on their future practice.

Conclusions: This pilot study highlights the feasibility of involving students in research and demonstrates the positive impact of such an experience.

Student Presenter

This abstract is based on research that was funded entirely or partially by an outside source:

Disclosure Statement:
The submitter must disclose the names of the organizations with which any author have a relationship, the nature of the relationship, and the clinical or research area involved. The following is submitted: NONE