Oral Health Prev Dent 12 (2014), No. 2 3. June 2014
Oral Health Prev Dent 12 (2014), No. 2 (03.06.2014)
Page 141-147, doi:10.3290/j.ohpd.a31218, PubMed:24624382
Survey on the Use of the Internet as a Source of Oral Health Information Among Dental Patients in Bangalore City, India
Naganandini, S. / Rao, Rekha / Kulkarni, Smitha B.
Purpose: Widespread internet usage worldwide allows increased access to medical and dental information and can be used for patient self-education. However, because there is little evidence about how the internet is impacting dentistry, this survey was conducted to determine how dental patients in Bangalore, India, use it as a source of information on oral health and to discover how it affects oral hygiene practices of patients.
Materials and Methods: The data was collected from 572 patients attending the outpatient departments of public and private hospitals by administering a specially designed proforma questionnaire. The chi-square test (P < 0.05) was used to determine differences between different groups i.e. based on age, health care delivery and educational status of study participants.
Results: Out of 572 respondents using the internet, 150 (26.2%) used it for information on oral health. A higher number of males than females and a significantly higher percentage of people aged 18 to 40 years used the internet. A significantly higher number of respondents utilising dental health care from private providers used the internet as a source of information on oral health. The difference in the usage of internet for information on oral health by gender and age groups was due to higher internet access at the work place and through cybercafés. A significantly higher number of patients from the private sector and with higher educational background used the internet.
Conclusion: Low socioeconomic status and a low educational level act as barriers to using the internet, which may explain the results of this study. Creating awareness amongst people of different educational backgrounds through appropriate means (following an individualised approach based on educational qualification) would increase internet use for acquiring information on oral health.
Keywords: information, internet, oral health