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Xjenza Online Vol. 9 Iss. 2
Xjenza Online Vol. 9 Iss. 2 ISSUE: Xjenza Online Vol. 9 Iss. 2


A Time to Celebrate

Patient-reported Subjective Outcomes on Tooth Whitening Procedures
Ikechi McBerry, Gabriella Gatt, Emad Eddin Alzoubi, Nikolai Attard
Pages: 38 - 46
Abstract | View full article | PDF
Introduction: Tooth whitening procedures have gained popularity. Whilst it is important to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of these bleaching products, the patients’ opinion on their clinical experience should be investigated.
Aims and Objective: This second article aims to report on the participants’ self-reported subjective evaluation of their tooth whitening experience.
Material and Methods:
127 participants were invited to join the study and 77 were enrolled in the study according to the selection criteria. They were randomly divided into 8 groups, each group receiving a different tooth-bleaching product. Clinical data collection was performed at 4 different time points. Patients’ subjective outcomes were measured before and at the end of the observation period with pre-piloted questionnaires.
Results: Significant changes between products, from pre-treatment (T0) to 1-month after treatment (T3), were observed, with two products clinically underperforming(p< 0.05). Eighty-two percent of participants reported that they would undergo another
whitening procedure, whilst 42.5% indicated that tooth whitening was a motivational factor for them to improve and maintain their oral health status. Patient-reported sensitivity was significantly highest for the Ultradedent Opalescence PF HK group (P ⩽ 0.001). Bi- and multi-variate analyses of patients’ self-reported levels of satisfaction indicated that patients were able to discern clinical changes. They reported the highest satisfaction rates for Philips Zoom (P ⩽ 0.001) and dissatisfactions with two of the bleaching products.
Conclusions: Patients detected clinical changes and their satisfaction was overall very positive, although some products performed below expectations. Tooth whitening procedures appeared to be a motivational tool.

Doi: 10.7423/XJENZA.2021.2.01
Assessing the impact of Class Sizes on the Educational Performance by Business, Management and Commerce students: A Vocational Education and Training Case Study
Ayrton Zarb
Pages: 47 - 63
Abstract | View full article | PDF
This empirical paper follows the ongoing economic literature investigating the impact of larger class sizes on the academic performance by students. This study uses secondary data involving 874 business, management, and commerce students who followed an educational course between 2018/2019 and/or 2019/2020 at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST). Several variations of the proposed Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression model have been tested to produce the best possible model intended to test for a scientific relationship between the two variables, whilst controlling for a set of academic and socio-economic characteristics affecting students’ academic performance. Results suggest that larger class sizes lead to lower end-of-course scores obtained by students. Furthermore, a statistically significant positive relationship is also evident between the end-of-course score and the students’ age, level of studies, and attendance rate. Also, students’ family background and the distance from college are proved to be significant indicators to explain changes in the dependent variable. Such findings encourage management teams in schools to design smaller classes to enhance students’ academic wellbeing and advance the economic and social development of society.

Doi: 10.7423/XJENZA.2021.2.02
COVID-19 more than an ill-health: combined supply-side and demand-side shocks
Victor Grech, Sarah Cuschieri, Peter Grech, Fabri Stephanie
Pages: 64 - 70
Abstract | View full article | PDF
COVID-19 mitigated restrictions have avoided countless deaths and infections while simultaneously disrupting livelihoods and economies. The global loss of gross (world) product is unprecedented as COVID-19 has inflicted both supply-side and a demand-side shocks. While public health measures have mitigated morbidity and mortality with positive effects on cross-country economic results, the decline in global Gross Domestic Product is leading to diminished spending on healthcare, the environment, and social wellbeing. In addition to the current challenges, there will also be various long-term implications of lasting illness (“long COVID”) which are still to be determined. Numerous and varied economic stimuli packages have been instituted by different countries aiming to revive economies in the short term and thereby also mitigate long-term implications. In line with these measures, as a result of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, European countries have initiated discussions on vaccine-immunity passports to enhance mobility and assist economic recovery. However, this will not resolve the economic scars, the impaired innovation outcome and the healthcare fatigue that are expected to linger for years. While uncertainty is certain, this very uncertainty highlights the need for unbiased and rigorous quantitative evaluations of all possible decisions. A “nuanced approach” to the easing of restrictions must take into account the balance of immediate mortality and both short- and long-term morbidity versus the even longer-term risks of widening health, education and wealth inequalities and decreased life expectancy among the more socially and economically vulnerable.

Doi: 10.7423/XJENZA.2021.2.03