Correlates of illness behaviour related to orofacial infections of odontogenic origin among adults in a semi urban community in Nigeria
Background: Infections of facial spaces in the maxillofacial region occur in most cases as a complication of odontogenic infections. It often results in substantial morbidity, with serious and potentially life threatening outcomes if allowed to progress without prompt medical attention.
Objective: To identify factors that determine illness behaviour related to maxillofacial space infections.
Method: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study of adult residents of pakoto community, Ifo local government area, Ogun state. The study was conducted using an interviewer administered questionnaire which included key information about respondents’ awareness of predisposing factors of maxillofacial space infections; common actions taken
with regards to treatment, and the factors that influenced their utilization of the available oral health care service.
Results: A total of 187 individuals were sampled, mean age was 30.5(SD 11.7) years with majority being females (59.4%) The proportion of the total respondents who reported a history suggestive of orofacial space infection was 20.3% (n=38). Visiting a patent medicine dealer (26.3%) along with visiting a dentist (31.6%) were the illness behaviours most frequently engaged in by respondents who have had an orofacial swelling following a toothache, with majority (73.7%) indicating the action they took was based on what was most convenient.
Conclusion: This study has revealed that engagement in unorthodox practises by individuals in a semi-urban community studied is prevalent, and influenced by factors such as age, gender, level of education and occupation.
Keywords: Odontogenic infection, semi-urban community, illness behaviour