Knowledge, attitude and practices of mothers

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Knowledge, attitude and practices of mothers toward their children's oral health: A questionnaire survey among subpopulation in Mumbai (India). Romi Jain ...

E-ISSN 2348-3407 DOI: 10.4103/2348-3407.135073

Original Research

Knowledge, attitude and practices of mothers toward their children’s oral health: A questionnaire survey among subpopulation in Mumbai (India) Romi Jain, Kunal C Oswal, Rajeev Chitguppi Department of Public health Dentistry, Terna Dental College, Nerul, Navimumbai, Maharashtra, India

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Abstract Aim: Oral health‑related knowledge, attitude, and practices shown by preschool children determine their oral health status in the future. This in turn depends on the knowledge, attitude, and practices inculcated into them by their parents. Objective: The objective was to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practices of mothers toward their children’s oral health. Materials and Methods: A  cross‑sectional questionnaire survey was conducted among 422 mothers of preschool children who visited dental colleges in Mumbai, India. Data were collected through an interview, using a structured proforma. Results: Majority (60.4%) had poor knowledge, 53.8% exhibited poor attitude and 58.8% were following fair practices towards a children’s oral health. Knowledge regarding the role of fluorides, causes and prevention of dental caries, gum disease, malocclusion were found to be inadequate. Conclusion: This study showed that mothers had poor knowledge and attitude towards a children’s oral heath due to which majority were following poor oral health practices.

Key words: Knowledge, oral health, practices, preschool children

Introduction Preschool children form an innocent and compassionate segment of the society and their oral health care is given due priority as it determines the oral health status of the future generations.[1] Children under the age of 5  years generally spend most of their time with parents and guardians, especially mothers, even when they attend preschools or nurseries. These early years involve “primary socialization” during which the earliest childhood routines and habits are acquired.[2] These include dietary habits and healthy behaviors established as norms in the home. These are dependent on the knowledge and behavior of parents and elder siblings.[3] Young children’s oral health maintenance and outcomes are influenced by their parent’s knowledge and beliefs, which affect oral hygiene and healthy eating habits. Parent’s knowledge and positive attitude toward good dental care are very important in the preventive cycle. It has been found that the more positive is the parents’ attitudes toward dentistry, the better will be the dental health of their children.[4] Mothers, who are the primary role model for them, their health beliefs and attitude towards oral health care, act as a significant

predictor of children’s oral health.[5] Hence an attempt has been made in this study to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practices of mothers toward their children’s oral health and also to compare the knowledge, attitude, and practices with regards age, educational level, and socioeconomic status.

Materials and Methods A cross‑sectional questionnaire study was conducted for 4 months among mothers of 3-5 year old preschool children who visited Dental Colleges in Mumbai from August 2012 to November 2012. Ethical clearance was obtained from Institutional Review Board and an informed consent was obtained from the study participants. The study was carried out in four randomly selected Dental Colleges in Mumbai (Terna Dental College, Nair Hospital Dental College, Guardian College of Dental Sciences and Research Center, YMT Dental College and Research Center) and 105 study subjects from each college were included in the study. The structured questionnaire proforma was designed in English and then translated in Hindi by two dentists who were fluent in both English and Hindi. The Hindi version was then back‑translated into English by another two people fluent in both Hindi and English. The back‑translated version was

Correspondence to: Dr. Romi Jain, C-503, Intop Heights, Sector 19, Airoli, Navi Mumbai - 400 708, Maharashtra, India. E-mail: [email protected] Journal of Dental Research and Scientific Development | 2014 | Vol 1 | Issue 2


Jain, et al.: Knowledge, attitude and practices of mothers toward their children’s oral health

compared with the English version to verify that the questions were properly translated. Questionnaire was pretested and validated among 30 mothers and these subjects were not included in the final analysis. Based on the response rate with error fixed at 5%, sample size was calculated to be 422. Sample size was calculated based on Z2 pq/e2. Z = 1.96 for 95% of the confidence interval p = proportion of the population who had knowledge about oral health was 20% (0.2) q = 1 − p = 0.8 e = margin of error was at 4% =0.04. All mothers having children aged between 3 and 5 years and who gave consent were included in the study. All participants were interviewed by a single investigator. A  structured proforma was designed to collect the data, which consisted of two parts. The first part consisted of general information such as the name, age, gender of the child, parent’s education, occupation and total family income. The second part was the questionnaire, which consisted of 29 questions related to knowledge, attitude and practices toward children’s oral health. Out of which 10 questions were related to knowledge, six were related to attitude and nine were related to practices and four were general questions. The responses for the attitude questions were rated as:  (1) Agree,  (2) uncertain and  (3) disagree. To assess the responses for the questionnaire, a scoring system was developed; scores were based on the number of correct/favorable answers given by mothers. [6,7]  (Knowledge  –  good: >7, fair: 4–6, poor: 5, fair: 3–4, poor: 7, fair: 4-6, poor:

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