Dr Grace Wong, Dr Tebbin Koo, Ms Judith Fethney, Ms Rebecca Chen
1Northern Sydney Local Health District, NSW Health, Sydney, Australia
Background: Research has proven a link between oral health and numerous systemic diseases. In order to achieve a better health outcome, there is a need to involve interprofessional primary health care providers, such as nurses to raise awareness and promote oral health. Nurses have regular patient contact which provides a unique opportunity to impart disease-specific information and technical skills for patients to self-manage their oral health conditions. However, there is no specific education module on oral health care within the undergraduate nursing curriculum at the University of Sydney. Before creating a targeted oral health literacy education program, it is essential to assess the baseline oral health knowledge of the nursing students.
Aim: This study aimed to assess the oral health literacy level among undergraduate nursing students of the University of Sydney. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using the validated Comprehensive Measure of Oral Health Knowledge(CMOHK) survey. A univariate general linear model was used to explore the association of CMOHK total score with demographic and educational variables.
Results: A total number of 197 nursing students participated in the survey, with a mean CMOHK score of 15.48, SD 3.27. 72% were categorized as having good, 16% fair, and 12% poor oral health knowledge. Students with English as their second language, on average, scored 2 fewer correct responses (p<.001) than students whose first language was English. Low socioeconomic status was not associated with a low level of oral health literacy.
Conclusion: Analysis from the six domains of the CMOHK survey provided recommendations to potentially map out and target an oral health education intervention to improve oral health literacy amongst nursing students. Culturally responsive pedagogy may need to be considered for students with English as their second language. This baseline survey data may potentially facilitate integrating oral health in nursing education and practice.
Biographies to come.