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South African Dental Journal

versión On-line ISSN 0375-1562
versión impresa ISSN 0011-8516


BALWANTH, S  y  SINGH, S. A pre and post-test assessment of an oral health intervention: caregivers' knowledge and attitudes at long-term care facilities in the eThekwini district, KwaZulu-Natal. S. Afr. dent. j. [online]. 2023, vol.78, n.4, pp.190-195. ISSN 0375-1562.

INTRODUCTION: Oral health remains a neglected aspect of healthcare among vulnerable populations residing at long-term care (LTC) facilities. Routine oral health education and training for caregivers have the potential to improve oral health provision. AIMS AND OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of an oral health intervention on caregivers' knowledge and attitudes. METHODS: This cross-sectional study utilised a pre/post-test assessment approach. A total of n=145 caregivers from n=7 LTC facilities in the eThekwini district, participated in a pretest questionnaire. An oral health education intervention in the form of a PowerPoint® presentation was implemented four weeks later. Six months later, a post-test questionnaire was administered. A Paired proportion test was used for statistical analysis. A p-value <0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. RESULTS: A response rate of 77.1% was obtained. In the pre-intervention phase, caregivers (n=68; 46.9%) reported that loose teeth can be a sign of gum and bone disease, compared to 89% (n=129) of caregivers in the postintervention phase. Caregivers (n=124; 85.5%) in the pre-intervention phase felt that they should be trained in providing oral healthcare, compared to 93.8% (n=136) in the post-intervention phase. CONCLUSION: The oral health intervention had a positive effect on caregivers' knowledge and attitudes. This finding necessitates routine oral health education and training for caregivers.

Palabras clave : Caregivers; long-term care facilities; institutionalised residents; oral health education; oral health training.

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