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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 224-229

The relationship between oral health literacy and oral health among nursing students in Chengalpattu district, India: A correlational study


Department of Public Health Dentistry, Karpaga Vinayaga Institute of Dental Sciences, Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. K Indrapriyadharshini
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Karpaga Vinayaga Institute of Dental Sciences, GST Road, Chinnakolambakam, Palayanur (PO), Chengalpattu (District) - 603 308, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jnms.jnms_97_21

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Context: Better health literacy develops the competencies of the individual to assimilate, comprehend and adapt to healthy practices and reduce risk behaviors. Oral health literacy has also proved to be critical in reducing oral health disparities and in promoting oral health. Aim: The study aimed to assess the oral health literacy level and its impact on oral health status among dental nurses. Setting and Design: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 170 nursing students at private nursing college between September 2019 and December 2019. Materials and Methods: Oral health literacy (OHL) was assessed using the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Dentistry (REALD-30) and dental caries were assessed by decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) index Statistical Analysis Used: The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Kruskal–Wallis test, and multiple linear regression analysis. Results: Among the participants, the IV-year students showed a higher rate of rinsing after meals (77.3%), brushing frequency twice a day (36.4%). A steady increase in the mean OHL scores was observed with an increase in the level of education. Significant association was found between REALD-30 (OHL) and dental caries (b = -0.151, P-value = .049). Conclusion: The current study result demonstrates the correlation between oral health literacy and dental caries. To achieve better outcomes, there is a need to involve inter-professional primary health care providers, such as nurses to raise awareness and promote oral health by incorporating additional cross-cutting actions in training programs aimed at health care, disease prevention, and health promotion.


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