Pan African Medical Journal

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Knowledge and awareness of medical doctors, medical students and nurses about dentistry in Nigeria

Elijah Olufemi Oyetola, Taiwo Oyewole, Micheal Adedigba, Stephen Tunde Aregbesola, Kehinde Umezudike, Adedotun Adewale


Introduction: Various studies have reported poor awareness and knowledge of dentistry in the Nigerian population. There is, however, paucity of information assessing the knowledge and awareness of medical doctors/students and nurses about dentistry. The present study is aimed at determining the knowledge and awareness of medical doctors/students and nurses about dentistry. Methods: Self-administered questionnaires were randomly distributed among medical doctors/students, and nurses of Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospitals' Complex, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Information collected using the questionnaire included participants' biodata, questions evaluating dental awareness, knowledge of systemic and oral health connections as well as referral practices. The data analysis was done with STATA version 11 software. Results: A total of 300 questionnaires were randomly distributed among doctors/students and nurses, 206 were returned (response rate of 69%). Of the returned questionnaires, 129(63%) were males and 77(37%) were females. There were 42 medical doctors, 49 nurses and 115 medical students. The mean age of the participants was 26.7 years (SD 5.2). Majority (99.5%) was aware of dental profession, but 92% had never referred patients for dental consultation. One third (31%) of medical doctors believed that Ludwig angina was a cardiac disease. A large proportion of the respondents (61%) see no need for routine dental visit while 27% would want to visit the dentist only when they had a dental complaint. Conclusion: Although a large percentage of the participants claimed to be aware of dentistry, our findings revealed low level of knowledge and attitude to Dentistry. Efforts should be made towards closing this knowledge gap to achieve efficient oral health.

Pan African Medical Journal 2016; 23
AJOL African Journals Online