A comparative study of oral health knowledge, attitude and behaviour of non-medical, para-medical and medical students in Udaipur city, Rajasthan, India

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Aim:The aim of the study was to assess and compare the Oral health knowledge, attitude and behaviour of the non-medical, para-medical and medical students.Material and methods:In a cross-sectional study, a total of 825 students (males – 577, females – 248) of six different professions belonging to non-medical, para-medical and medical categories were surveyed using a self-administered, structured questionnaire pretested through a pilot survey. The mean percentage scores, standard deviation and frequency distribution were calculated. The Student's t-test, anova test, Scheffe's test and chi-squared test were used as test of significance. The linear regression analysis was used to assess the relation of behaviour with knowledge and attitude.Results:The knowledge scores were significantly higher for the medical students compared with those of non-medical students. The attitude scores were significantly lower for the non-medical category compared with the other two categories and the scores were the highest among the para-medical students. The behaviour scores were significantly lower for the non-medical students than for the para-medical and the medical categories. All the scores were significantly higher for females than for the males. Regression analysis showed a linear relationship of behaviour with the attitude, but no significant linear relation with the knowledge.Conclusion:All the students showed low level of knowledge and the preventive behaviour among the students could still be improved. The results indicate that the knowledge was not enough to influence the oral health behaviour, but behaviour showed linear relationship with attitude of the students.

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