Degree Name

MSAH (Master of Science in Allied Health)


Allied Health

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Randy Byington

Committee Members

Ester Verhovsek, Debbie Dotson


Dental hygiene students may struggle in dental hygiene curriculum in regards to hand function. Currently, this is not an aspect dental hygiene programs screen for or have protocol in place to help students. The research in the study examined if hand function could improve with hand function exercises and if exercises improved instrumentation scores. During a 6-week pilot study, an occupational therapist tested the hand function of a cohort of dental hygiene students. The results were recorded and the students began a 6-week hand function exercise regimen. After 6 weeks the same evaluations were preformed and the pre- and posttest data were compared. Statistical tests showed a significant improvement in hand function. After the hand function testing was complete, the scores of the cohort on the periodontal probe and 11/12 explorer were compared to students in the previous 5 cohorts. No significant improvement was made on the instrumentation scores.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.