n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - The influence of oral health knowledge and perceptions on dental care behaviours amongst adults attending treatment at Berea Hospital, Lesotho : dental public health

Supplement 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Tooth extraction is the main dental treatment especially amongst rural communities in Lesotho. This study therefore examined the influence of oral health knowledge, perceptions, and practices of adults attending treatment at Berea Hospital on their oral healthcare behaviours. A cross-sectional survey design was used with a conveniently sampled group of 330 participants. A self-administered questionnaire with closed-ended questions was used for data collection. About 62.12% of the participants had good oral health knowledge. Those who had reached tertiary level of education had better knowledge than with lower educational levels (72.81% vs 69.16%). A total of 50.15% of the participants had good perceptions about oral health, and 95.44% used toothbrushes and toothpaste as their tooth cleaning devices. About 32.7% of the participants changed their tooth-brushes regularly, and 25.78% stated that they had visited their dentists during the last 12-months. The results indicated a strong positive association between oral health knowledge and perceptions (p-value=0.000), and that participants with good oral health knowledge were, thrice likely to have positive oral health perceptions compared to those with insufficient knowledge (OR=2.75;95%CI=1.57-4.15). Participants with good oral health knowledge were twice-likely to have good oral health practices (OR=2.25;95%CI=1.27-3.93) (p-value=0.002). Whilst some finer details of such findings may remain scientifically inconclusive in terms of peoples' oral healthcare behaviours; the results do suggest that increase in oral health knowledge does have a positive effect on one's perceptions about oral healthcare practices.

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