The Impact of Oral Health Literacy on Oral Health-Related Behaviours Among University Students – A Cross-Sectional Study
INTRODUCTION: Oral health literacy (OHL) is a significant determinant of an individual’s oral health-related behaviours, outcomes, and total quality of life. This paper aims to assess the OHL of KNUST students and its effect on oral health-related behaviour.
METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study. Participants were selected via simple random sampling. A self-administered questionnaire and the REALD-30 OHL assessment toolkit were used to collect data. Statistical analysis was performed using Stata 14. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed to examine the statistical relationship between OHL and oral health-related behaviours.
RESULTS: The mean OHL score was 12.10 out of 30, with 88.50%, 8.82% and 2.67% having low, moderate, and high OHL levels, respectively. OHL levels significantly predicted dental visits (C=-0.15, p=0.013), their frequency (C=-0.29, p=0.008) and toothbrushing frequency (C=-0.199,p=0.006).
DISCUSSION: OHL levels significantly predicted dental visits, their frequency, and toothbrushing frequency. These findings agree with similar studies conducted around the world.
CONCLUSION: Efforts by health services and providers should be made to improve OHL in thestudy and the general populace to reap the benefits of improvements in oral health-related andgeneral quality of life.