Oral Health Knowledge, Behaviour and Self-Reported Oral Health Conditions among Medical Students in Western Uganda.
Oral health among medical students in Uganda
Keywords:oral health, medical students, Uganda
Objective: To assess the oral health knowledge, oral health behaviour, and self-reported oral health conditions among undergraduate medical students on clinical rotation in Dentistry.
Methods The study recruited 104 undergraduate medical students on clinical rotation in Dentistry at the Kampala International University – Western Campus dental clinic. Data was collected online using a structured questionnaire uploaded to a Google form for easy data collection while also controlling non-response. Data analysis was done using IBM SPSS version 26. A test for the association between the variables was done using Pearson’s chi-square statistic. Statistical significance was considered to be p-value < 0.05.
Results: The majority (59.6%) of the respondents were male, aged between 22 and 25 years with a mean age of 22.20 ± 1.45. Findings showed that the majority of the respondents had basic knowledge of oral health and the prevention of oral disease. However, it was observed that 54.8% of respondents had not had a dental visit in the past year. The study also investigated self-reported oral health conditions, and it was observed that 83.7% of respondents reported having oral infections or diseases in the last year.
Conclusion: The level of knowledge on oral health among participants in the study did not consistently translate into appropriate oral health behaviour. There is a need to include oral health as part of the curriculum for medical students for practical orientation. Also, the students should be encouraged to adopt recommended oral health practices and guidelines to ensure that they are both knowledgeable and capable of maintaining good oral health for themselves and the communities they intend to serve.