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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 36-39

A survey about knowledge, attitude, and practice of oral health among the students of Faculty of Medicine, Medical College, Vadodara – A comparative study


Department of Dentistry, Medical College Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat, India

Date of Submission02-Sep-2020
Date of Decision04-Sep-2020
Date of Acceptance25-Sep-2020
Date of Web Publication25-Feb-2021

Correspondence Address:
Arti Jayman Raval
B-404, Radhe-Shyam Residency, GERI Road, Behind Yash Complex, Gotri, Vadodara - 390 021, Gujarat
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jdrr.jdrr_123_20

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  Abstract 


Background: Oral health is essential for maintenance of good mental and physical health. The relationship between knowledge and better oral health has been well recorded. The aim of this study was to evaluate, assess, and compare about knowledge, attitude, and practice of oral and periodontal health in the professionals of medical, physiotherapy, and nursing. Materials and Methods: A survey was carried out among the students of Faculty of Medicine, Medical College Vadodara. Three hundred students were chosen using a simple random sampling method, and a self-constructed 15-item questionnaire about oral and periodontal health awareness was allotted to all students. Descriptive statistics such as mean, one-way analysis of variance, and post hoc test was used to compare overall oral and periodontal health awareness and knowledge among the students. Results: A considerable lack of oral hygiene awareness and limited knowledge of oral hygiene practices even in health professionals were noted. Conclusions: Therefore, there is an immediate requirement for extensive educational programs to encourage good oral health and conduct various learning programs about the right oral hygiene practices even in health professionals.

Keywords: Attitude, awareness, knowledge, medical, nursing, oral health, students


How to cite this article:
Raval AJ, Shaikh SK. A survey about knowledge, attitude, and practice of oral health among the students of Faculty of Medicine, Medical College, Vadodara – A comparative study. J Dent Res Rev 2021;8:36-9

How to cite this URL:
Raval AJ, Shaikh SK. A survey about knowledge, attitude, and practice of oral health among the students of Faculty of Medicine, Medical College, Vadodara – A comparative study. J Dent Res Rev [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Apr 21];8:36-9. Available from: https://www.jdrr.org/text.asp?2021/8/1/36/310190




  Introduction Top


Health is a ubiquitous requirement for all human populations. Systemic health is always associated with dental hygiene. The oral cavity is considered to be the body portal and behaves like mirror of systemic health.[1] Overall dental hygiene has a considerable impact on general well-being.[2] Diseases of the periodontium are related to systemic health, and impact of systemic diseases on health of oral cavity does exist simultaneously. This two-way association continues to be present among them.[3]

Dentists' faces a number of evident contradictions when it comes to guiding patients on the most suitable strategy for plaque control.[4] Dental care, as part of general self-care, includes many activities ranging from care, prevention, and diagnosis to obtaining professional care. Oral self-care practices have been proved to be an effective preventive measure at individual level for maintaining good oral health as a part of general health.[5]

Oral health is mostly continued to be neglected and unrecognized social issues. That is why, this survey had included that class of society that is presently working in a health care set up and this people compared to layman have greater knowledge and awareness related to oral health, diseases and prevention. Although very little data are present in the literature to verify this view.[1] The present study was done on emphasizing to discover the awareness of dental and periodontal health in the medical, physiotherapy, and nursing students in Faculty of Medicine, Vadodara.

The aim of this study was to evaluate and assess the knowledge, attitude, and practice of oral and periodontal health in the educated strata which forms the foundation of society including the professionals of medical, physiotherapy, and nursing.

The objectives of our study were to compare the oral health awareness, knowledge, attitude, and practice among the students of medical, physiotherapy and nursing colleges, Faculty of Medicine, and to assess and compare the knowledge attitude and practice about periodontal diseases among the students of medical, physiotherapy, and nursing colleges.


  Materials and Methods Top


Ethical clearance was granted from the local ethical committee, and undergraduate students of medical and paramedical professional colleges of faculty of medicine were selected. Inclusion criteria were considered to be undergraduate professional students of medical, physiotherapy, and nursing colleges having the age of above 17 years. Minimum 256 participants were required for the present study to estimate 60% knowledge regarding dental health with 10% relative precision and 95% confidence (rounded off to randomly select 300 students).

Questionnaire was developed on the items previously reported in various studies.[1],[4] The pro forma comprises two parts. The first part consists of general information such as age, gender, and profession of students. The second part included 15 questions in which 3 questions are of knowledge practice and 12 questions are of attitude practice based on previous studies.[1],[4] Pretesting and validation of questionnaire were done by four experts: dental nurses (2), head of physiotherapy (1), and final-year medical student (1). Improvement and reframing of questionnaire were done accordingly.

A total number of students in faculty of medicine according to inclusion criteria were 1590, with 945 medical, 395 physiotherapy, and 250 nursing students. Based on which, 300 students were selected using a simple random sampling method (100 students each of medical, physiotherapy, and nursing faculty were selected). Students were provided with the basic information as well as were taken informed consent before filling up the questionnaire.

A questionnaire was distributed to all students consisting of 22.3% of males and 77.7% of females. After allocation of questionnaire, 30 min was provided for completing the questionnaire. Each question of the questionnaire had four options. The most suitable answer was recorded as one, and other answers were recorded as zero.

Statistical analysis

Data were evaluated using descriptive statistics such as mean, standard deviation, and confidence interval (one-way analysis of variance and post hoc test), and P < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant.


  Results Top


22.3% of male and 77.7% of female students took part in our study (out of 300 participants), with a mean age of 20.30 ± 1.62 years .The minimum age of participants was 17 years and maximum age was 24 years. Students having overall mean oral hygiene knowledge (K %) and mean oral hygiene practice (P %) is illustrated in [Table 1].
Table 1: Students having overall mean oral hygiene knowledge (K %) and mean oral hygiene practice (P %)

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Brushing was the prevalent method of cleaning (99.7%), but the percentage of students brushing their teeth twice daily regularly was only 20.7% [Table 2]; nevertheless, students brushing once daily regularly were 78.3%. The percentage of students who change their toothbrush in 3 months was 59% and in 6 months was 23%. Students who were conscious of the proper method of brushing method were only 36.3%. Seventy one percent of the participants did not have knowledge related to dental floss, and only 7.3% of the participants knew about it. The students who were aware about correct method of using mouthwash were only 18.7%. The participants who regularly visit their dentist every 6 months were only 9.7% [Table 2].
Table 2: Percentage of students having good oral hygiene practice

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33.7% of the students knew about the usual cause of bleeding gums. Seventy-six percent of the participants were having knowledge that poor oral hygiene is the common cause for bad breath. Participants who reported incorrect toothbrushing as the usual reason for receding gums were 81.3%. 84.3% of the students gave information about poor oral hygiene as the common reason for mobile teeth. The students who had knowledge about staining of teeth due to coffee/tea were 31.3%. About 71.7% of the students considered dentinal hypersensitivity that can be treated. About 93.3% of the students were aware that bad oral hygiene affects general health [Table 3].
Table 3: Percentage of students having knowledge about oral hygiene

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The mean good oral hygiene practice was recorded as 40.20 ± 19.79 in medical students, 33.0 ± 14.59 among physiotherapy students, and 42.40 ± 19.33 in nursing students (P = 0.001), while the mean knowledge related to oral hygiene was 59.00 ± 18.19 among medical students, 64.22 ± 17.48 among physiotherapy students, and 73.44 ± 14.72 among nursing students (P < 0.001) [Table 1]. This difference was statistically significant.

The mean good oral hygiene practice among male students was 37.91 ± 18.46 and among female students was 38.71 ± 18.47 (P = 0.75) which is not statistically significant, while the mean knowledge about oral hygiene among male students was 58.54 ± 18.31 and among female students was 67.57 ± 17.22 (P < 0.001) which is statistically significant [Table 4]. The mean oral hygiene knowledge was 65.56% and the mean oral hygiene practice was 38.53%.
Table 4: Comparison between male and female students about oral hygiene practice (P %) and knowledge (K %)

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  Discussion Top


Majority of the population do not have the knowledge related to the association between dental health and disorders that affects systemically such as cardiac diseases and diabetes. Hence, oral hygiene is generally neglected and unrealized communal issue. As we all know that prevention of disease is always better than treatment. Therefore, appropriate knowledge about preventive aspect of oral hygiene practice becomes necessary for maintaining good health of oral cavity. We had examined in this survey about the awareness status in those strata of community that may have an important role to play in providing health in general population. This survey was carried out among the medical, physiotherapy, and nursing students of Faculty of Medicine, Medical College Vadodara.

Brushing was the usually utilized method of cleaning, even though the percentage of students brushing their teeth twice daily regularly was low (20%) compared to 67% of the Chinese urban adolescents in a study by Jiang et al. in 2005[6] and 60% of the Dakshina Kannada district students in a study by Dayakar et al. in 2016.[1]

The average percentage of students who changes their toothbrush in 3 months was 59% which is similar to a study done by Dayakar et al. in 2016.[1] A significantly higher percentage of students had the knowledge of periodontal problems such as common cause for receding gums (81.3%), common cause for loose teeth (84.3%), and knowledge of dentinal hypersensitivity (71.7%), although the frequency of visiting the dentist in 6 months was very less (9.7%).

It is notable that 36.3% of all the students brushed their teeth using proper brushing techniques which is similar to the study done by Dayakar et al. in 2016.[1]

In spite of being health professionals, only 7.3% of the participants were aware about dental floss which is almost similar to 9% of the students in the study done by Dayakar et al. in 2016.[1] Preethi et al. in 2016 found that only 2.6% of the pharmacy students used dental floss.[7]

Compared to this, a remarkably higher percentage of students (73%) were having knowledge about relation between poor oral hygiene and bad breath and most of them (93.3%) were aware that bad oral hygiene affects systemic health, and the results were better compared to the study done by Ali et al. in 2012 (81%) in Karachi[8] and also more compared to the survey carried out in college students by Gopikrishna et al. in Bengaluru city in 2016 (71.7%).[9]

A survey carried out among nursing students of Davangere city by Yavagal et al. in 2020 shows very good knowledge related to oral hygiene among them.[10] Their percentage of visiting dentist was 72.6% as compared to the present study (only 9.7%). 74.2% of the nursing students brush their teeth twice daily compared to our study where only 20.7% of the students brush twice daily.

In eastern India, Kumar et al. in 2017 had compared oral hygiene knowledge among dental and medical students, and obviously, the knowledge of dental students was more compared to medical students.[11] Al-Jawfi and Alhaj in 2018 surveyed about knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to oral health of dental, medical, and pharmacy students at the University of Science and Technology in Yemen and concluded that dental students had better knowledge compared to medical and pharmacy students.[12] That is why we have not included dental students in our study for obvious reasons.

Students having mean oral hygiene knowledge (65.56%) were more compared to the mean oral hygiene practice (38.53%), which is quite surprising (they know more but do not implement that much). Our study results disclosed that the professionals who are going to be the base of our nation stand only mildly better compared to the rest of the common public related to knowledge of oral hygiene, but they do not make the use of this knowledge practically. It is very disappointing that these professionals do not execute proper oral hygiene practice in spite of having optimum knowledge.

Limitations

To the best of our knowledge, we are not aware of other prior survey like we did for this zone so that we can compare them. As far as we are aware, no survey in which comparison of awareness level between the medical, physiotherapy, and nursing professional students was performed in this region as well.


  Conclusions Top


In India, dental hygiene awareness quality is substandard, and due to poor socioeconomic background, major portion of the society being affected and number of persons has never visited a dentist. The outcome of our study is quite surprising for the dentistry. From the results of our survey, we have come to the conclusion that as compared to the oral hygiene awareness in the professional students of medical, physiotherapy, and nursing students, oral hygiene practice is very less. As dentists, we play a key role in motivating, educating, and spreading awareness about proper brushing technique, importance of flossing, and regular dental checkups. The efforts of increasing oral hygiene awareness require to be broadened from professional students to general population at elementary level like school children, various college students, and health-care providers.

Acknowledgment

The authors wish to thank Dr. A. T. Leuva (Ex. Dean, Medical College Vadodara), Dr. Rajiv Daveshwar (Ex. Medical superintendent, S.S.G. Hospital, Vadodara), Dr. Tanuja Javadekar (Dean, Medical College Baroda), and Dr. R.G. Aiyer (Medical Superintendent, Medical College Baroda) for kind support; Dr. Vikas Doshi for statistical help; and participants for volunteering their time to participate in our study. The authors also wish to thank the whole staff of the Department of Dentistry, Medical College Vadodara, for their kind help and support.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Dayakar MM, Kumar J, Pai GP, Shivananda H, Rekha R. A survey about awareness of periodontal health among the students of professional colleges in Dakshina Kannada District. J Indian Soc Periodontol 2016;20:67-71.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
2.
Bopp ML. The surgeon general's report on oral health dental hygiene: You can depend on us. J Dent Hyg 2001;75:263.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
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Haumschild MS, Haumschild RJ. The importance of oral health in long-term care. J Am Med Dir Assoc 2009;10:667-71.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Oberoi SS, Mohanty V, Mahajan A, Oberoi A. Evaluating awareness regarding oral hygiene practices and exploring gender differences among patients attending for oral prophylaxis. J Indian Soc Periodontol 2014;18:369-74.  Back to cited text no. 4
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5.
Axelsson P, Albandar JM, Rams TE. Prevention and control of periodontal diseases in developing and industrialized nations. Periodontol 2000 2002;29:235-46.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Jiang H, Petersen PE, Peng B, Tai B, Bian Z. Self-assessed dental health, oral health practices, and general health behaviors in Chinese urban adolescents. Acta Odontol Scand 2005;63:343-52.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Preethi MY, Suganya CS, Ganesh R. Knowledge, attitude, and practice toward oral health among pharmacy students in Chennai. Indian J Multidiscip Dent 2016;6:20-4.  Back to cited text no. 7
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8.
Ali NS, Khan M, Butt M, Riaz S. Implications of practices and perceptions on oral hygiene in patients attending a tertiary care hospital. J Pak Dent Assoc 2012;1:20-3.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Gopikrishna V, Bhaskar NN, Kulkarni SB, Jacob J, Sourabha KG. Knowledge, attitude, and practices of oral hygiene among college students in Bengaluru city. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2016;14:75-9.  Back to cited text no. 9
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10.
Yavagal PC, Dalvi TM, Benson T, Lakshmi S, Yann TH, Gowda T. Knowledge, attitude and practices related to oral health among nursing students in Davangere City: A cross-sectional survey. Oral Health Prev Dent 2020;18:493-8.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Kumar H, Behura SS, Ramachandra S, Nishat R, Dash KC, Mohiddin G. Oral health Knowledge, attitude, and practices among dental and medical students in Eastern India-A comparative study. J Int Soc Prev Community Dent 2017;7:58-63.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
AL-Jawfi KA, Alhaj AM. Knowledge, attitudes and practices related to oral health of dental, medical and pharmacy students at the University of Science and Technology in Yemen. Int J Dent Oral Health 2018;4:1-6.  Back to cited text no. 12
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]



 

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