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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 2806-2813

Use of teachers as agents of oral health education: Intervention study among public secondary school pupils in Lagos

1 Department of Preventive Dentistry, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo State, Nigeria
2 Department of Preventive Dentistry, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
3 Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Afolabi Oyapero
Department of Preventive Dentistry, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_1269_19

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Background: Common oral diseases are preventable and if detected early are reversible and schools provide a setting in which the oral health behavior of pupils can be influenced. We aimed to assess the effectiveness of using teachers in place of oral health professionals to deliver oral health education (OHE) in public secondary schools in Lagos State. Methods: This quasi-experimental study was conducted in four phases from September 2016-April 2017. A multistage sampling method was adopted to enlist the research participants from four enlisted schools, which were randomly assigned into two groups. Trained dentists delivered OHE in the first group of schools while trained teachers did in the second group and the impact of the intervention was assessed over six months. P values for significant differences were set at 0.05. Results: At the 3 months evaluation, the mean oral health knowledge (OHK) scores were higher among pupils in the Teachers Intervention Schools (TIS) (71.3 ± 19.3) than that in the Dentist Intervention Schools (DIS) (61.3 ± 17.7) (P = 0.023). Subsequent evaluation sessions from baseline revealed a gradual increase in the proportion of pupils with positive oral health attitude scores; with a higher proportion of pupils in the DIS (34.5%) compared to the TIS (34.0%) at 6 months assessment time. At 6 months evaluation, the proportion of pupils with poor oral health practices decreased in both groups of schools (P = 0.104). Conclusion: The proportion of pupils with good OHK was higher in the TIS at post-intervention periods; this difference was statistically significant at 3 months. This result suggests that teachers are as effective as dentists in delivering OHE.

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