Family physicians' knowledge and awareness regarding oral health: A survey
Ramandeep Singh Gambhir1, Jaspreet Singh Batth2, Gagandeep Arora3, Samir Anand4, Arvind Bhardwaj4, Harveen Kaur5
1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, BRS Dental College and Hospital, Panchkula, Haryana, India
2 Department of Endodontics and Conservative Dentistry, BRS Dental College and Hospital, Panchkula, Haryana, India
3 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Rayat and Bahra Dental College and Hospital, Mohali, Punjab, India
4 Department of Periodontics, Rayat and Bahra Dental College and Hospital, Mohali, Punjab, India
5 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Dr. Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India
Dr. Ramandeep Singh Gambhir
Department of Public Health Dentistry, BRS Dental College and Hospital, Panchkula - 134 118, Haryana
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
INTRODUCTION: Oral health is an important component of general health. The World Health Organization has highly recommended the integration of oral health promotion into general health care. In majority of the cases, patients visit their physicians with simultaneous oral and systemic complaints, and primary oral complaints are more frequently encountered. Therefore, primary care physicians can play an expanded role within oral health care to raise the overall health of the patients.
AIM: This study aimed to assess the knowledge and awareness of family physicians regarding oral health.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: An observational (cross-sectional) study was conducted among 250 family physicians who are practicing in Tricity. A self-structured questionnaire (close-ended) prepared by a panel of oral health experts in English language (close-ended) was administered to the study participants. The questionnaire which was divided into two parts, A and B, contained 15 questions on knowledge and awareness regarding oral health. Categorization of knowledge scores was done at three levels: low, medium, and high. Statistical analysis was performed using analysis of variance and Student's t-test.
RESULTS: Males comprised 72.8% (182) of the study population and 55.2% (138) of the participants were doing combined practice (academic and private both). Low knowledge scores were reported in 47.2% (118) of the participants whereas only 22.4% (56) of participants had a high score. The mean knowledge score according to educational level and working profile was statistically significant (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: The results of our study showed a considerable lack of knowledge among family physicians regarding connection of oral health with general health. Therefore, there is an urgent need to increase their knowledge by various continued medical education and training programs.