Despite recent breakthroughs in the research on resilience, its definition remains obscure. Particularly within the stressful field of dentistry, more understanding is required about what resilience means to people, factors that enhance or challenge their resilience, and strategies they employ to develop resilience throughout their careers. Studies have highlighted the importance of the knowledge of preventative and protective resilience strategies in improving wellbeing for dental professionals and reducing risk to personal and patient safety.
The evolving research approaches resilience as a process existing on a continuum, instead of making a binary distinction between its existence and non-existence. The level of resilience is dependent on the environment, interpersonal interactions, and personal resources. Dental care professionals need to build resilience to look after their own safety, ensuring they can protect the safety of patients.
The project will use a qualitative approach to explore:
- meaningful understanding of a phenomenon that is usually perceived as a way of coping in the aftermath of stress
- resilience strategies that are put in place as preventative mechanisms.
The project findings will provide valuable material that could be used for educational programmes and publications addressing risk management in the wider context and more innovative considerations to address this issue.