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J Educ Eval Health Prof > Volume 14; 2017 > Article
J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2017; 14: 21.
Published online September 13, 2017.
Current issues and areas for improvement in the Korean Dental Hygienist National Licensing Examination: an expert Delphi survey among dental hygienists
Yoon-Sook Hwang1  , Hyun-Sook Kang2  , Soo-Hwa Kim1  , Hee-Jung Moon3  , Sun-Mi Lee4  , Jae-Yeon Jung1  , Su-Jeong Hwang5  , Jung-Eun Ha6 
1Department of Dental Hygiene, Hanyang Women's University, Seoul, Korea
2Department of Dental Hygiene, Suwon Women's University, Suwon, Korea
3Department of Dental Hygiene, Yeoju Institute of Technology, Yeoju, Korea
4Department of Dental Hygiene, Dongnam Health University, Suwon, Korea
5Department of Dental Hygiene, College Of Medical Science, Konyang University, Daejeon, Korea
6Department of Dental Hygiene, Division of Health Science, Baekseok University, Cheonan, Korea
Correspondence  Jung-Eun Ha ,Email:
Editor:  Sun Huh, Hallym University, Korea
Submitted: July 4, 2017  Accepted after revision: September 13, 2017
This study aimed to investigate current issues and areas for improvement in the Korean Dental Hygienist National Licensing Examination (KDHNLE) through an expert Delphi survey.
A Delphi survey was conducted from May through August 2016 in Korea. This Delphi survey included 20 persons representing the field of dental hygiene (7 groups from various dental hygiene-related organizations). The Delphi survey was administered through e-mail as 3 rounds of questionnaire surveys regarding the issues facing the KDHNLE and potential solutions to those challenges. The primary Delphi survey was an open questionnaire. In each round, subjects’ responses were categorized according to the detailed themes of their responses. The minimum value of the content validity ratio of the survey results was determined by the number of panels participating in the Delphi survey.
Issues facing the KDHNLE were identified from the results of the Delphi survey. The following 4 items had an average importance score of 4.0 or higher and were considered as important by over 85% of the panels: the failure of the practical test to reflect actual clinical settings, the focus of the practical test on dental scaling, the gap between the items evaluated on the national examination and actual practical work, and insufficiency in strengthening the expertise of licensed dental hygienists. The following items were suggested for improvement: more rigorous rater training, adjustment of the difficulty of the licensing examination, the introduction of a specialized dental hygienist system, and more rigorous refresher training for licensed dental hygienists.
Based on the above results, the KDHNLE should be improved according to the core competencies of dental hygienists, including on-site clinical practice experience.
Keywords: Dental hygienists; Dental health surveys; Dental scaling; Republic of Korea

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