Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine adult clients' recall of oral health education services they received in private practice settings.
Methods: A written questionnaire was completed by a convenience sample of 199 adult clients who each had an appointment at a university dental hygiene clinic. Responses were statistically analyzed to generate frequency distributions of recall of oral health education services received in private practice and to determine if statistical differences existed in the number of services recalled according to selected client characteristics.
Results: The results indicated that 14 of the 22 oral health education services included on the questionnaire were reported to have been provided to fewer than half of the study participants when they were treated in their private dental care setting. The subjects were most likely to recall they were given a toothbrush. Chi-square analysis of selected client characteristic variables indicated that only four of the services were statistically significant between the reported frequencies and client age and periodontal health status. The differences between the reported frequency of services for females and males were not statistically significant. Subjects recalled that more oral health education services had been provided in conjunction with a prophylaxis by a dental hygienist; the differences in the reported frequencies for 16 of the 22 services were statistically significant. (p < or = .05)
Conclusions: The convenience sample and data constraints, which depended on the clients' recall of services received in a private practice setting, must be considered in interpreting the results. Even though dental hygienists provide more oral health education services than other oral healthcare practitioners, the generally low frequencies of adult client recall of oral health education services received in private practice settings indicate that oral healthcare providers may not incorporate effective learning strategies into their health education programs.