Relationship of dental coping beliefs and oral hygiene

Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 1991 Apr;19(2):112-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0528.1991.tb00123.x.


Previous research has found varying relationships between dental beliefs and oral hygiene. In this study a recently developed questionnaire, the Dental Coping Beliefs Scale (DCBS), was used to study the relationship between plaque index and dental beliefs. The DCBS was administered to 99 subjects; at the same time, the standard of oral hygiene was determined by the use of the Plaque Index scoring system. The rating dentist had an established test-retest reliability of 0.91 in estimating plaque index. Correlations were obtained between each of the DCBS's 44 items and plaque index scores. Ten items were significantly correlated with plaque index, with r's from -0.19 (P less than 0.05) to -0.33 (P less than 0.001). The DCBS data was then analyzed by performing an oblique principal component cluster analysis to determine the major health belief composing the DCBS. Four clusters explained 38% of the total variance. The clusters were labeled Internal Locus of Control (15 items). External Locus of Control (15 items), Self Efficacy (8 items), and Oral Health Beliefs (6 items). Nine of the 10 items significantly correlated with plaque index were members of the External Locus of Control component. Thus, beliefs relating to increased external locus of control were related to higher plaque index.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oral Health
  • Oral Hygiene*
  • Self Concept*