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Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a Primary Preventive Dental Health Education Programme Implemented Through School Teachers for Primary School Children in Mysore City.

ABSTRACT

The present study was conducted with the aim of evaluating the effectiveness of a Primary Preventive Dental Health Education Programme conducted for 6-12-year-old primary school children in Mysore City.A total of 12 schools, one each in the category of Government, Aided, and Unaided, were randomly selected per zone viz., North, South, East, and West. These 12 schools constituted the study group where the Primary Preventive School Dental Health Education Programme (PPSDHEP) was implemented. Two additional schools were selected at random from the four zones to serve as the control. A total of 926 children participated in the study. The PPSDHEP involved the second-level transfer of preventive package wherein the oral health education was imparted to the school children by schoolteachers trained by the investigator. Among the parameters for evaluating the outcome of the programme were the pre and post-programme assessment (at the baseline and at follow-up, i.e., after 6 months) of knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP), dental caries status, oral hygiene, and gingival health status.The results suggest that the PPSDHEP resulted in bringing about an enhancement in the KAP towards oral health and also an improvement in dental caries, oral hygiene, and gingival health status of the school children in the study group.The present study supports the implementation of similar programmes in schools and the contention that schoolteachers are suitable personnel for imparting dental health education to school children on a regular basis.