|Year : 2016 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 242-245
Oral health attitude and behavior among health-care students in a teaching hospital, Telangana State: A cross-sectional study
Ravi Kiran Jella, K. V. N. R. Pratap, T Madhavi Padma, V Siva Kalyan, P Vineela, L Surya Chandra Varma
Departments of Public Health Dentistry, Mamata Dental College, Khammam, Telangana, India
|Date of Web Publication||27-Dec-2016|
Ravi Kiran Jella
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Mamata Dental College, Khammam - 507 002, Telangana
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Introduction: The behavior of health-care students and their attitudes toward their own oral health reflect not only understanding of the importance of preventive dental procedures but also in improving the oral health of their patients. Thus, the aim of the study is to enlighten self-reported attitude and behavior among dental and medical undergraduate students. Methodology: A cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study was conducted among undergraduate students of a tertiary care teaching hospital in Telangana state. The information regarding demographic data, attitude, and behavior toward oral health was collected using the Hiroshima University-Dental Behavioral Inventory questionnaire. Data were analyzed using the analysis of variance. Results: The study subjects consisted of 361 dental and 315 medical undergraduate students. The present study revealed that oral health attitudes and behavior improved significantly with increasing levels of education in both dental and medical students. The dental undergraduates have better attitude and behavior than medical students, which was statistically significant regarding oral hygiene practices, gingival health, and visit to the dentist. Conclusions: Significant improvement was found regarding oral health attitude and behavior among both dental and medical students, with increase in their academic year. The overall attitude and behavior were better in dental students than medical students; however, both dental and medical undergraduates should have a comprehensive program, self-care regimen practices starting from their 1st year of education.
Keywords: Attitudes, behavior, dental students, medical students, oral health
|How to cite this article:|
Jella RK, Pratap K, Padma T M, Kalyan V S, Vineela P, Varma L S. Oral health attitude and behavior among health-care students in a teaching hospital, Telangana State: A cross-sectional study. Indian J Dent Sci 2016;8:242-5
|How to cite this URL:|
Jella RK, Pratap K, Padma T M, Kalyan V S, Vineela P, Varma L S. Oral health attitude and behavior among health-care students in a teaching hospital, Telangana State: A cross-sectional study. Indian J Dent Sci [serial online] 2016 [cited 2020 Jan 29];8:242-5. Available from: http://www.ijds.in/text.asp?2016/8/4/242/196812
| Introduction|| |
Health behavior is the human action taken to sustain and promote health. It also helps to prevent diseases. Oral health behavior consists of personal and professional care and includes tooth brushing, dental flossing, visiting dentist, and following proper diet. It has been found that health-care providers exhibit a positive attitude toward oral health and dental care. Health-care provider's oral health attitudes developing during the undergraduate training reflect their generous importance of disease prevention and their commitment to improving their patient's oral health. Therefore, positive oral health attitudes should be taught and reinforced during undergraduate training.
Health care is the maintenance or development of health through the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, physical and mental impairments in human beings. Health care is delivered by allied health professions, physicians, dentistry, midwifery, nursing, medicine, pharmacy, and other health professions. Among them, the dental and medical health-care providers have more reinforce effect on oral health than the others. The dental and medical education system in India accepts candidates from various socioeconomic backgrounds who become eligible to study dentistry and medicine based on their score in state entrance examinations. The dental and medical curriculum in India comprises 4 years, divided into two parts: Preclinical (years 1 and 2) and clinical years (years 3 and 4 and internship).
Oral health is a highly individualized concept, the perception of which is overwhelmed by an individual's culture and socioeconomic status. The attitude of people toward their own teeth and the attitude of dentists who provide dental care play an important role in determining the oral health condition of the population, and it varies as age advances. Males and females have different physiological and psychological behavior, so it is probable that their oral health behavior might be different too. Researchers have found that the oral health attitudes and behaviour of dental and medical students differed based on their level of education as dental students are more dealt about oral health than the medical students. Furthermore, the oral health attitude and behavior of dental students were found to differ between countries and cultures. However, many studies are conducted in this regard; there are insufficient data, on comparison of oral health attitude and behavior among dental and medical students in Telangana. Hence, the purpose of this study was to assess the oral health attitudes and behavior among dental and medical undergraduate students and to analyze variations with respect to age, gender and level of education.
| Materials and Methods|| |
This cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study was conducted on dental and medical students in July after obtaining permission from the ethical review board of the institution. A convenient sampling method is used to assess the oral health attitude among undergraduate dental and medical students, and students who gave consent to participate and present on the day of study were included in the study.
The student's oral health attitudes and behavior were assessed using the English format of the Hiroshima University-Dental Behavioral Inventory (HU-DBI) questionnaire. HU-DBI questionnaire developed by Kawamura  consists of 20 items in a dichotomous response format (agree/disagree). One score is given for each “agree” response to items 4, 9, 11, 12, 16, and 19, and one score is given for each “disagree” response to items 2, 6, 8, 10, 14, and 15. The minimum to maximum possible score is 0–12. The higher the score is the better the oral health attitude and behavior.,
The questionnaire was distributed among dental and medical students from 1st year to final year and interns after explaining in detail about the study. Students from all academic years were invited to complete the questionnaire in their classrooms after lectures. Participation in the study was voluntary. Each participant had taken a time of 7–15 min to fill the questionnaire. The score of each item which relates to oral health attitude and behavior in the HU-DBI was analyzed, and then, a mean score was calculated.
The analysis was performed using IBM Corp. Released 2012. IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 21.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp. Data were analyzed using the analysis of variance with HU-DBI scores as the dependent variable and level of dental education, sex, and age as an independent variable. The level of significance was set at P < 0.05.
| Results|| |
[Table 1] depicts the student's distribution by gender and course. The total dental and medical students participated in the study were 361 and 315, respectively. Among them, there were 141 (53.40%) males and 535 (46.60%) females.
The mean scores of HU-DBI questionnaire among various years of dental and medical education are given in [Table 2] and [Table 3]. The mean HU-DBI score is highest among the interns in both dental and medical students and it is statistically significant. When compared with the level of education, the P = 0.001 is obatined for both the dental students and medical students.
|Table 2: Mean scores of Hiroshima University.Dental Behavioral Inventory questionnaire among various years of dental students|
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|Table 3: Mean scores of Hiroshima University.Dental Behavioral Inventory questionnaire among various years of medical students|
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The mean HU-DBI score is higher for the dental that is 8.37 than for the medical that is 7.81, and it is statistically significant with P = 0.007 given in [Table 4].
|Table 4: Mean scores of Hiroshima University-Dental Behavioral Inventory questionnaire among different courses of education|
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When compared with the gender, males have higher mean HU-DBI score than the girls, and it is not statistically significant with the P = 0.162 given in [Table 5].
|Table 5: Mean scores of Hiroshima University.Dental Behavioral Inventory questionnaire among males and females|
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| Discussion|| |
The dental and medical students, the future professionals, who will specialize in the treatment of diseases as well as in preventive services, should have a good oral health knowledge and attitude and endorse to the expert recommendations. In their daily clinical practices, these students examine a huge number of patients of different age groups and diverse backgrounds. Therefore, with appropriate oral health knowledge and behavior, they can act as role models for these patients and play a positive role in improving oral health condition of the general population.
In this context, many previous studies have revealed that dental students have better attitude towards oral health than students in other disciplines., This finding is expected and is probably attributed to the fact that dental students have always been exposed to many academic subjects that reinforce their knowledge and behavior toward oral health. The surprising finding, however, is the reported differences in dental students' attitude toward oral health by countries, cultures, and years of study similar to study conducted by Komabayashi et al., Al-Omiri et al., and Ahamed et al.
In the present study, mean HU-DBI scores were increases with the level of education, which is in accordance with a study conducted by Kawamura et al., Dagli et al., and Neeraja et al. and is contrast to the study conducted by Vangipuram et al. Studying clinical dentistry has allowed the dental students to have a significantly better oral hygiene practice, positive attitude and to be confident of their oral health practice than their medical counterparts.
In this study, gender has no significant relation with HU-DBI scores. Males have better oral health attitude and behavior and it is contrast to study conducted by Vangipuram et al., Ostberg et al., Fukai et al., Rahman and Kawas, and Halboub et al. Since males and females have different physiological and psychological behaviors, it is possible that their oral health behavior might be different as well.
| Conclusions|| |
Dental students have better oral health attitude and behavior than medical students. Overall, oral health attitude and behavior scores are increased significantly in final year and house surgeon students compared to other students. To serve as a good model, the improvement of oral health-related behavior and attitude should be started from the 1st year of education.
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Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]