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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 41-49

Oral health practices, knowledge, and attitudes among primary schoolchildren in Derna City, Libya: A cross-sectional survey


1 Department of Public Health, College of Medical Technology, Derna, Libya; Middle East and North Africa Research Group, Leeds, UK
2 Department of Dental Technology, College of Medical Technology, Derna, Libya
3 Independent Researcher, Leeds, UK

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Raga A Elzahaf
Department of Public Health, College of Medical Technology, Derna

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijpr.ijpr_8_19

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Background and Aim: Dental caries is a major public health problem with a high prevalence and incidence among schoolchildren, especially in low-income populations. The aim of this study was to assess the practices, knowledge, and attitude of primary schoolchildren toward oral health and dental care as well as to evaluate the factors that determine these variables. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 1288 primary schoolchildren of 14 schools located in Derna city, Libya, from February to May 2016. Government and private schools were selected by systematic random sampling method. All participants were asked to complete a comprehensive questionnaire adopted from Peterson et al. and Stenberg et al. Investigators explained the questionnaire, and the children independently filled up the questionnaire without giving their names. The data were coded and analyzed using SPSS 22.0. Results: One thousand two hundred and eighty-eight children successfully completed the questionnaire. The schoolchildren included 788 (62.3%) females and 476 (37.7%) males. Schoolchildren's age ranged from 9 to 15 years, with a mean age of 12.20 ± 1.91 years. The study revealed that more than half of the children had used good correct oral health practices (55.8%), more than two-third had low knowledge (67.2%), and 74.7% were found to have bad attitude. Conclusion: There is a lack of knowledge and careless attitude among schoolchildren with regard to oral health. Children need to be motivated about the importance of oral health in school and at home.


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