School teachers' knowledge of oral disease prevention: a survey from Dharwad, India

J Investig Clin Dent. 2012 Feb;3(1):62-7. doi: 10.1111/j.2041-1626.2011.00083.x. Epub 2011 Aug 5.


Aim: To assess knowledge and the associated factors among Indian school teachers towards oral disease.

Methods: A cross-sectional design was employed using a self-administered questionnaire. A total of 215 school teachers were selected, with a response rate of 95.3% (n = 205).

Results: A total of 35.6% of school teachers had "good" knowledge, while 42.4% had "medium" knowledge of the prevention of oral disease. Knowledge of dental caries was highest, as opposed to oral cancer, which was lowest. School teachers aged >50 years and those with postgraduate degrees had greater knowledge. A significant association was observed between teachers' levels of knowledge and their age groups (χ(2) = 20.9950, P < 0.05) and education level (χ(2) = 13.9740, P < 0.05). However, the multivariate stepwise regression analysis showed that education, age group, sex, and type of institutional funding (public/private) was significantly correlated to knowledge (R(2) = 0.1250, P < 0.05).

Conclusions: The study revealed that school teachers, in particular younger teachers and those with only basic educational qualifications, need to be further motivated to improve their awareness and knowledge about oral diseases. Therefore, the establishment of school-based oral health promotion programs in India with immediate effects is essential.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dental Caries / prevention & control
  • Dental Caries / psychology
  • Educational Status
  • Faculty*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Malocclusion / prevention & control
  • Malocclusion / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Mouth Diseases / psychology*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Mouth Neoplasms / psychology
  • Periodontal Diseases / prevention & control
  • Periodontal Diseases / psychology
  • Primary Prevention / methods
  • Private Sector
  • Public Sector
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sampling Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires