Attitudes Toward Statistics Among Dentistry Postgraduates

Mariana Andrade Costa, Fernanda Salloume Sampaio Bonafé, Lívia Nordi Dovigo, Juliana Alvares Duarte Bonini Campos

Abstract


Aim: To validate the Attitudes Toward Statistics Scale (EAE) and to investigate the perceptions and attitudes toward statistics among dentistry postgraduates students. Method: A total of 115 postgraduates students (62 master's students, 80 women, age 26 ± 4 years) answered the items of the EAE and the Clinician Attitudes Toward Biostatistics (CATB). Information on academic training was collected. Confirmatory factor analysis (χ²/df, CFI, TLI and RMSEA) was conducted to estimate the validity of the instruments to sample. The standardized mean scores of CATB and EAE factors were estimated and compared (ANOVA). Results: The EAE two-factor fit model exhibited adequate validity for the sample (χ²/df = 1.814, CFI = 0.979, TLI = 0.976, and RMSEA = 0.086). Individuals who received their first training earlier, reported better performance in mathematics and greater knowledge of statistics, also exhibition more positive attitudes toward statistics. Individuals who reported having a research career focus, and who evaluated their supervisors’ knowledge of statistics as very poor to intermediate, presented a greater awareness of the importance of statistics in research and scientific evidence. Conclusion: The EAE was valid and reliable for the sample. Perceptions and attitudes toward biostatistics were associated with variables involving the participant's academic formation.

Keywords


statistics; validity; scales; dentistry; evidence-based practice