Online Program

Oral health knowledge, attitude and behavior among high school students in Solomon Islands

Monday, November 4, 2013

Shih-Huai Hsiao, Lecturer, Superintendent Office / Department of Public Health, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Tzu-Ping Weng, Medical Student, Department of medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
Lin-Kun Wu, RN, Master of Oral Health, Department of Secretariate, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
Tenneth Dalipanda, Ministry of Health and Medical Service, Honiara City, Solomon Islands
Wen-Ter Lai, Department of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
BACKGROUND: Even though the children in Solomon Islands eat less sweet, they still suffer from dental caries because of betel nut. Few data on oral health are available, this survey try to explore the oral health knowledge and behavior of high school students in Solomon Islands.

METHODS: The survey was conducted in August, 2012. Total of 600 students, aged 12 to 20 years old, were randomly selected from St. Joseph and St. Nicholas high schools for participating.

RESULTS: Approximately 55% of participants have the habit of betel nut chewing, which began at the age of 11.15 years, in average. Nearly 55% of participants have suffered from toothache before, 48% of them had the teeth examined by health workers. About 88% of participants have their own toothbrush, but 45% and 2% do not brush their teeth daily and never brush their teeth, respectively. Furthermore, 58% of student indicated that they learned about oral hygiene. However, only 19% knew the function and the application of fluoride. Another 49% and 27% of participants understood the composition of dental plaque and the formation process of dental caries.

CONCLUSIONS: The principle knowledge of oral health is lacking among the students in Solomon Islands and is not taught as part of the curriculums in schools. Most students have the habit of betel nut chewing, and nearly half of them are lacking of the habit of daily tooth brushing. The appropriate education resources need to be prompted to make a significant change in oral disease prevention.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education

Learning Objectives:
Explain why the children in Solomon Islands need the education resources for oral disease prevention. Design an appropriate plan for oral health promotion for the children in Solomon Islands.

Keyword(s): Oral Health Needs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am teacher of public health department at Kaohsiung Medical University and senior specialist of public health at Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Taiwan. I organized this program and executed this survey at high school students in Solomon Islands in 2012 by students and colleaques, focusing on the oral disease prevention and oral health promotion. This project was based on the Taiwan Health Center in Solomon Islands, I was the co-investigator of this 5 year project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.