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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 50

Effectiveness of oral health education program using braille text in a group of visually impaired children-before and after comparison trial

1 National Oral Health Program, Centre for Dental Education and Research, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, SGT Dental College Hospital and Research Institute, SGT University, Gurgaon, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Charu Khurana
Research Officer, National Oral Health Program, Centre for Dental Education and Research, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_233_18

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CONTEXT: Vision is the most important sense for interpreting the world and when sight is impaired, especially in childhood it can have detrimental effects on one's life. To maintain the oral health status of such group requires special approach. AIM: The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of Braille text and verbal, oral hygiene instructions on the oral health status of visually impaired children. SETTINGS AND DESIGN: A prospective nonrandomized before and after comparison trial without any control group was conducted among 165 children aged 7–19 years residing in one of the blind schools in Delhi. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A questionnaire was developed to record the source of oral health knowledge and practices. Oral health status of the children was evaluated by recording plaque index (PI) and gingival index (GI) scores at 1, 3, and 5 months intervals. Periodic reinforcement of oral health education was performed with the help of instructions in Braille language. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Paired t-test and McNemar tests were used to assess the difference between the scores before and after oral health education. RESULTS: Among completely blind children, the mean difference of PI and GI score from baseline to the last evaluation was found to be 0.56 and 0.28, whereas among partially blind children, it was found to be 0.58 and 0.25, respectively. All the above values were statistically significant (P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Visually impaired children irrespective of the degree of blindness could maintain an acceptable level of oral hygiene when taught using Braille text for instructions. However, continuous motivation and reinforcement at regular intervals are required for the maintenance of oral health status.

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