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Oral Health and Preventive Dentistry



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Oral Health Prev Dent 13 (2015), No. 4     1. Sep. 2015
Oral Health Prev Dent 13 (2015), No. 4  (01.09.2015)

Page 323-330, doi:10.3290/j.ohpd.a33444, PubMed:25610917

Relationship Between Oral Health Literacy and Oral Health Status Among College Students
Kanupuru, Karthik Kumar / Fareed, Nusrath / Sudhir, Kudlur Maheswarappa
Purpose: To examine the relationship between oral health literacy and oral health by adapting a valid oral health literacy instrument.
Materials and Methods: A random sample of 715 students from 9 institutes was included in the study. Oral health literacy (OHL) was assessed by making the students pronounce a list of 40 words from REALD-99. Oral health status (OHL) was assessed using a modified WHO (1997) proforma. A stepwise logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the impact of independent factors on oral health literacy.
Results: The response rate was 97.9%; 15 students refused to participate, leaving 700 participants in the final sample. The mean age of the participants was 20.35 ± 1.66 years. A statistically significant difference was observed in OHL according to the clinical parameters. Caries prevalence was higher among subjects with low OHL with a mean DMFT score of 2.69 ± 1.53, compared with high-OHL students having a mean DMFT of 0.22 ± 0.4. Similarly, oral hygiene status was poor among subjects with low OHL (1.53 ± 0.6). Community periodontal index (CPI) scores were lower (1.06 ± 0.8) in subjects with high OHL than in those with low literacy (CPI: 1.6 ± 0.6).
Conclusion: The present study revealed a negative correlation between oral health literacy and clinical parameters measured, that is, higher oral health literacy was associated with better oral health.

Keywords: college students, health literacy, oral health literacy, oral health status