The pilot test was conducted with preclinical dental students at the same School of Dentistry, from the 1st, 3rd and 5th semesters (n = 25–30), and with clinical dental students who did not take part in the cognitive test, from the 6th to the 10th semesters (n = 25–30).

At the School of Dentistry, Kiel, the accreditation of the course of studies is only possible in the winter semester. As a consequence, in the winter semester, there are only 1st, 3rd and 5th semester courses, with around sixty-six students in each semester. After the first state exam (after the 5th semester), the accreditation switches from once a year to twice a year (summer and winter semester). Therefore, the number of students in one preclinical semester are divided in two clinical semesters.

The recruitment strategy and the inclusion criteria were the same for the cognitive test, which was carried out at the beginning of the winter semester 2018/2019. The willingness of the 1st and 5th semester students to participate was greater than the desired ten participants per semester. Here, ten students were drawn at random. After agreeing to participate, different time slots were offered for the completion of the questionnaire.

The analysis was performed using the statistical programme SPSS 25.0 (SPSS Inc., IBM).

The evaluation strategy included checking the feasibility of the items (behaviour of the respondents when filling in the form) concerning the recommendation by Kelley [36]. A descriptive analysis on the distribution of response frequencies and the determination of the rate of missing values was performed.

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