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Quintessence Publishing: Journals: OHPD


Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry

Edited by Anton Sculean, Poul Erik Petersen, Avijit Banerjee

ISSN (print) 1602-1622 • ISSN (online) 1757-9996


Fall 2009
Volume 7 , Issue 3

Pages: 225 - 233
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The Importance of Psychological Factors in the Maintenance of Oral Health: A Study of Swedish University Students

Stenström, Ulf / Einarson, Susanne / Jacobsson, Brittmarie / Lindmark, Ulrika / Wenander, Asa / Hugoson, Anders

Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the predictive value of the traditional multidimensional health locus of control (MHLC) scale, a corresponding dental health locus of control (DHLC) scale and dental health values (DHVs) regarding students’ dental health before and after a video programme that presented information about dental diseases and instructions on oral hygiene. Materials and Methods: A group of 217 university students participated in this study. Before the video programme was presented, assessments were made of MHLC, DHLC and DHVs. Plaque and gingival indices were obtained in a clinical examination conducted before (plaque index [PLI] 1 and gingival index [GI] 1) and 10 weeks after (PLI 2 and GI 2) the presentation of the programme. Results: The percentage of tooth surfaces exhibiting plaque and of sites involving gingivitis decreased and was statistically significant between baseline and re-examination for both males and females. The females exhibited statistically significant better PLI 1 and GI 1 values and stronger DHVs than males. Also, better GI 1 values were found to be statistically significant and related to stronger DHVs for females. A stronger trust in the dental health personnel regarding the dental health was related to more gingivitis at the initial examination (GI 1). For males, stronger internal DHLC was related to more plaque at the final examination (PLI 2). Conclusion: The only psychological scales that showed some relationship to the measures of dental health were DHLC and DHVs. Gender was the strongest related variable to dental health.

Keywords: dental health locus of control, dental health values, oral health

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