Effectiveness of Peer Group and Conventional Method (Dentist) of Oral Health Education Programme Among 12-15 year Old School Children - A Randomized Controlled Trial ZC125-ZC129
Dr. Swathi Vangipuram,
Senior Lecturer, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Krishnadevaraya College of Dental Sciences and Hospital,
Introduction: Oral Health Education (OHE) in schools is routinely delivered by the dentist. Another approach which can be cost-effective, easily accessible and equally effective is the trained group of peer students.
Aim: The objective of the present study was to assess and compare the effectiveness of peer–led and conventional method (dentist-led), OHE on oral health status, oral health knowledge, attitude and practices among 12-15 year old government school children in Bengaluru South Zone-I at baseline, 3 months and 6 months.
Materials and Methods: The study population comprised of 450 subjects, 150 each in peer, dentist and control group. At baseline, a pre-tested 14 item questionnaire was used to assess the existing oral health knowledge, attitude and oral hygiene practices of the subjects. Clinical examination included recording of plaque index and gingival index, by a pre-calibrated examiner. OHE was provided by the peer group and dentist (using power-point presentation, chalk and talk presentation, using charts, posters, booklets and tooth brushing demonstration models). Data was analyzed using Kruskal Wallis and Chi-square test.
Results: Both the peer-led and dentist-led OHE intervention were effective in improving oral health knowledge, attitude, oral hygiene practices and oral health status at three and six months when compared to control group. The adolescents in the peer-led group, however, exhibited statistically better oral health behavior than their counterparts in the dentist-led group and control group.
Conclusion: The two educator-led strategies (peer group and dentist) had a modest effect on the outcome variables included in the study, the results provide some evidence to show that the peer-led strategy may provide a feasible and almost equally effective alternative to the traditional dentist led strategy of oral health education.