Oral health behaviour, knowledge, and attitude among nursing students

Lea Ladegaard Grønkjær, Natasja Nielsen, Marie Nielsen, Camilla Smedegaard


Background and objective: Nursing students play an important role in oral health promotion, after they graduate and start working within the health care system. The aim of this study was to determine the oral health behaviour, knowledge, and attitude among Danish senior nursing students.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out among students at the Education of Nurses, VIA University College, Aarhus, Denmark, using an electronic questionnaire consisting of 22 questions regarding oral health behaviour, knowledge, and attitude.

Results: One hundred students completed the questionnaire, yielding a response rate of 79%. A majority of the students brushed their teeth twice daily (89%), visited the dentist at least once a year (55%), and described their teeth and gingiva as extremely good or very good (80%). The students had good oral health knowledge regarding plaque and dental caries. However, the knowledge about periodontal diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis was insufficient. Nearly all students stated that oral health is an important part of nursing care (97%) and important for the general health (87%). Over half of the students (64%) thought that oral health training should be updated and expanded in the nursing education.

Conclusions: The participating students had good oral care behaviour. In some areas, the students had adequate oral health knowledge, while the knowledge about especially periodontal disease was insufficient. The majority of the students had a positive attitude toward oral health and wanted oral health training to be prioritised in the nursing education.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v7n8p1

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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