Development of life story experience (LSE) scales for migrant dentists in Australia: a sequential qualitative-quantitative study

M. Balasubramanian, A. J. Spencer, S. D. Short, K. Watkins, S. Chrisopoulos, D. S. Brennan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction: The integration of qualitative and quantitative approaches introduces new avenues to bridge strengths, and address weaknesses of both methods. Objective: To develop measure(s) for migrant dentist experiences in Australia through a mixed methods approach. Methods: The sequential qualitative-quantitative design involved first the harvesting of data items from qualitative study, followed by a national survey of migrant dentists in Australia. Statements representing unique experiences in migrant dentists’ life stories were deployed the survey questionnaire, using a five-point Likert scale. Factor analysis was used to examine component factors. Results: Eighty-two statements from 51 participants were harvested from the qualitative analysis. A total of 1,022 of 1,977 migrant dentists (response rate 54.5%) returned completed questionnaires. Factor analysis supported an initial eight-factor solution; further scale development and reliability analysis led to five scales with a final list of 38 life story experience (LSE) items. Three scales were based on home country events: health system and general lifestyle concerns (LSE1; 10 items), society and culture (LSE4; 4 items) and career development (LSE5; 4 items). Two scales included migrant experiences in Australia: appreciation towards Australian way of life (LSE2; 13 items) and settlement concerns (LSE3; 7 items). Conclusion: The five life story experience scales provided necessary conceptual clarity and empirical grounding to explore migrant dentist experiences in Australia. Being based on original migrant dentist narrations, these scales have the potential to offer in-depth insights for policy makers and support future research on dentist migration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-231
Number of pages7
JournalCommunity Dental Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • health professionals
  • Human migration
  • Life story experience scales
  • Methodology
  • dentists


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