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Leadership in dentistry: findings from new tool to measure clinical leadership

Authors Hill H, Brocklehurst P

Received 17 February 2015

Accepted for publication 9 March 2015

Published 11 June 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 13—20


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Russell Taichman

Harry Hill,1 Paul Brocklehurst2

1The Manchester Centre for Health Economics and School of Dentistry, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK; 2School of Dentistry, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Background: In England, the recent reorganization of the National Health Service has led to the development of local dental networks and an emerging narrative on the importance of clinical leadership in dentistry. Analogous to clinical commissioning groups, local dental networks ensure general dental practitioners (GDPs) influence the delivery of local services. However, little is known about what GDPs think clinical leadership is and whether the construct has meaning. The aim of this study was to explore the structure of a pilot questionnaire to determine the qualities that GDPs deem are important and to use a data reduction methodology to produce a tool to measure clinical leadership.
Methods: A 61-item questionnaire was distributed to GDPs across the North West of England. GDPs were asked to rate the level of importance of each item using a 7-point Likert scale. Principal component analysis and direct oblimin rotation was used to examine for factor loadings within the questionnaire. Internal validity was tested by Cronbach's alpha.
Results: Two principle factors emerged: “how to lead” and “how not to lead”. Individually, the item “I think it is important to have integrity” was rated as the most important.
Conclusion: The study developed a refined questionnaire that captures the important qualities of clinical leadership in dentistry. This is the first questionnaire that has been developed to capture important leadership attributes for GDPs.

Keywords: pilot questionnaire, leadership questionnaire, exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis

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