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A study among dental hygienists on providing oral health care and awareness among the elderly

  • Journal of Korean society of Dental Hygiene
  • Abbr : J Korean Soc Dent Hyg
  • 2020, 20(5), pp.635-643
  • DOI : 10.13065/jksdh.20200058
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Dental Hygiene
  • Research Area : Medicine and Pharmacy > Dentistry
  • Received : August 12, 2020
  • Accepted : October 7, 2020
  • Published : October 30, 2020

Kyung-Yi Chung ORD ID 1 Ha,Myung-Ok ORD ID 2 Kim Kyung Hee ORD ID 3

1호남대학교
2광주보건대학교
3한영대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate dental hygienists understanding of the provisions of oral health care and awareness for the elderly. Methods: A survey was conducted among 285 dental hygienists, currently practicing around Gwangju province, Korea. The questionnaire contained questions on general characteristics of the subjects (5 items), oral health status of the elderly (5 items), and awareness (8 items) among the dental hygienists. The data were analyzed using a chi-square test. IBM SPSS 21.0 program was used for all statistical analyses. Results: The results showed that 47.7% of the dental hygienists took care of 1 to 5 elderly patients per day; they could not provide high quality oral health education to these patients because of lack of knowledge, lack of treatment time, and excessive workload. An analysis of the hygienists’ professional educational experience related to oral healthcare of the elderly during university years showed that the older and more experienced hygienists’ were less likely to have completed this education, i.e., 22.05% and 10.9%, respectively (p<0.001). Of all the dental hygienists, 62.8% were interested in oral health problems of the elderly, and 34.4% of dental hygienists for geriatric oral care were the most needed for geriatric oral care education (p<0.001). Conclusions: According to these results, it is important that dental hygienists participate in training on oral healthcare for the elderly and develop various programs for managing the oral health of the elderly.

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