Oral Health Literacy in Iran: Insights from a Cross-Sectional Study on the Adult Population

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Professor of Health Education and Health Promotion, School of Public Health and Safety, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor of Health Education & Health Promotion, School of Public Health and Safety, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Professor of Biostatistics, School of Public Health and Safety, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 Assistant Professor of Health Education and Promotion, Department of Health Promotion and Education, School of Health, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Alborz, Iran.

Abstract

Background and Objective: It is important to note that Oral Health Literacy (OHL) not only pertains to dental health but also has a broader impact on overall quality of life. Therefore, this cross-sectional study aimed to assess the level of OHL in the adult population of Tehran, Iran. 

Materials and Methods: A sample of 700 Iranian adults (Tehran), aged 18-64 years, participated in this study (October 2021 and March 2022). A researcher-developed questionnaire was used to collect data on demographic variables and OHL. The questionnaire consisted of four domains: cognitive, behavioral, media, and communication skills. The data was analyzed by software SPSS 19. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, independent-samples t-tests, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), chi-square tests, and multiple regression analysis. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05.

Results: The average age of the subjects was 35.50±8.87 years, ranging from 18 to 61 years. The mean OHL score was 67.62±15.53, indicating a moderate level of OHL. Among the dimensions of the questionnaire, cognitive skills received the highest scores and Communicative skill lowest. The results revealed significant associations between OHL and demographic variables. Multiple regression analysis showed that income, education level (academic and below diploma), and marital status (married) significantly predicted OHL.

Conclusion: This study highlights the need for improved OHL in the Iranian adult population. The findings suggest that educational interventions targeting low-educated individuals and specific demographic groups could help enhance OHL. Efforts should be directed towards improving communication skills in oral health settings. 

Keywords


Acknowledgments: This study is part of a Ph.D. dissertation on health education and health promotion. The authors would like to thank the contributors. This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the School of Public Health & Neuroscience Research Centre at Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences (approval ID: IR.SBMU.PHNS.REC 1397.051). Participants were provided with information about the study and verbal consent by proceeding to participate in the survey, which implied that verbal consent was approved by the Ethical Board Committee of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences. All the study procedures were conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the Declaration of Helsinki.


Availability of data and materials: The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


Conflict of interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest.


Consent for publication: Not applicable.


Funding: This study is sponsored by Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran. The funding agencies had no role in the design of study, data collection and analysis, or presentation of the results.

 

Ethics approval and consent to participate: This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the School of Public Health & Neuroscience Research Centre at Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences (approval ID: IR.SBMU.PHNS.REC 1397.051). Participants were provided with information about the study and verbal consent by proceeding to participate in the survey, which implied that verbal consent was approved by the Ethical Board Committee of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences. All the study procedures were conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the Declaration of Helsinki.


Authors' contributions: Y. M and A.SM, contributed to data analysis, drafted and critically revised the manuscript; A. SM, M. GH, S. R, Y. M, contributed to data analysis, critically revised the manuscript; A. SM, M.GH, contributed to conception, design, and data analysis, drafted and critically revised the manuscript. All authors gave final approval and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

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