September 2013

Volume 30, Issue 3

Preschool teachers as agents of oral health promotion: an intervention study in Sri Lanka

Authors: S. Fernando R.D.F.C. Kanthi N.W. Johnson
doi: 10.1922/CDH_3192Fernando05


Background: According to National Oral Health Survey reports and research, Early Childhood Caries has been identified as a serious public health problem in Sri Lanka. More than 65% of preschool-aged children have dental decay and only 2% of them have had treatment. With proper interventions and commitment from public health personnel and responsible community leaders this should be a largely preventable disease. Methods: An intervention study was conducted among preschool teachers in the District of Colombo, Sri Lanka, to assess their influence on oral health promotion in the school environment. All the available 52 preschools and all 72 teachers registered under a local government authority were involved in the study. Preschools were divided into intervention group and control group based on geographically defined areas. The intervention included training preschool teachers using a manual covering health education, health promotion, incorporation of oral-health-friendly activities into the preschool curriculum, and hands-on experience of oral examination. Pre- and post- assessments were conducted with a 6 month interval. Results: After 6 months, the median oral health knowledge score of the intervention group improved from 55 to 72 (p=0.005) and the mean score for oral health related practices from 32 to 35 (p=0.032). The variables: oral-health-friendly preschool environment (p=0.02), availability of brushing facilities (p=0.005) and availability of information, education and communication materials related to oral health (p=0.004) were significantly different between the two groups after 6 months. Conclusion: Oral health promotion activities can be effectively instilled in a pre-school environment by the education of teachers. Key words: oral health, health promotion, settings approach, children, preschool, Sri Lanka


Other articles in this issue

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Editorial - The Challenges of Scientific Publishing 130-131 Download
The origins of BASCD and the Specialty of Dental Public Health: Some personal memories 132-133 Download
Dental Public Health in Action - Oral health education and disease prevention in primary dental care: Insight from a pilot intervention targeting children aged 0-7 years in northeast England 134-137 Download
Caries prevalence in 12-year-old children from Germany: Results of the 2009 national survey 138-142 Download
Longitudinal register study of attendance frequencies in public and private dental services in Finland 143-148 Download
The geographic distribution of patients seeking emergency dental care at the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne, Australia 149-154 Download
Using GIS to analyse dental practice distribution in Indiana, USA 155-160 Download
Oral health care services utilisation in the adult US population: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey 2006 161-167 Download
Dental infections increase the likelihood of hospital admissions among adult patients with sickle cell disease 168-172 Download
Preschool teachers as agents of oral health promotion: an intervention study in Sri Lanka 173-177 Download
Oral health literacy and information sources among adults in Tehran, Iran 178-182 Download
Child oral health-related quality of life (COHQoL), enamel defects of the first permanent molars and caries experience among children in Western Australia 183-188 Download
Oral health-related quality of life in non-syndromic cleft lip and/or palate patients: a systematic review 189-195 Download


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