Oral Health Attitudes and Behavior among Graduating Medical Students at the University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria
Introduction: The high dependence on doctors for oral health information due to the shortage of oral health manpower in Nigeria cannot be over emphasized. It is imperative therefore, that medical students as future medical doctors have proper knowledge and oral health behavior.
Objective: To evaluate self reported oral health attitudes and behavior among final year medical students attending the University of Benin by using the modified HU-DBI.
Materials and methods: This was a cross sectional study involving 113 final year medical students attending the University of Benin in 2012. Informed consent was obtained from all the participants. The research tool was a modified Hiroshima University – Dental Behaviour Inventory (HU-DBI) survey consisting of 22 items. Data collected was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17.0. The analysis was done using frequency distribution and parametric analysis in the form of independent T-test. P< 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: A total of 120 questionnaires were administered with 113 respondents giving a response rate of 94.2% comprising 54.0% males and 46.0% females (Figure 1). The mean HU-DBI score was 4.87±1.41 with the mean HU-DBI score for the male respondents being 4.92±1.45 and 4.81±1.36 for the female respondents. There was no statistically significant association between gender and mean HU-DBI score.
Conclusion: Medical students reported a fair oral health attitude and behavior. Oral health education with emphasis on preventive oral health should be incorporated into the undergraduate curriculum of medical students so they can be more equipped to exhibit better oral health attitude and behavior.
Keywords: oral health, attitude, behavior, medical students