A cross-sectional study to assess and compare the oral hygiene status, knowledge, perceptions amongst the students studying in government and private schools of rural areas of Chambal region
OBJECTIVE- To assess and compare the oral hygiene status, knowledge, perceptions amongst the age group of 10 to 15-year-old students studying in government and private schools of rural areas of the Chambal region.
MATERIALS AND METHODS- The cross-sectional study was carried out at randomly selected secondary schools of the Chambal region carried out approximately for a period of 2 months. Prior permission to examine the children would be obtained from the appropriate authorities before starting the study and the survey will be scheduled accordingly. The informed written consent and verbal assent will be obtained from the parents as well as to children respectively before the study. The investigator underwent training and calibration in January and February 2019. First, the literature of the two indices was thoroughly reviewed and a discussion was conducted with the staff of the Department of Public Health Dentistry. A calibration exercise was then performed on 30 adolescents who were examined by the investigator, as well as a previously trained examiner. Cohen’s kappa values were calculated to assess the inter-examiner reliability. Substantial inter-rater agreement (ĸ = 0.80) was obtained.
RESULT- The difference in the debris score between the private school children and government school children for the study population as a whole statistically significant (P = 0.01) The mean debris score for the private school children was 0.7829 and the mean debris score for government school children were 0.9457. The difference in the calculus score between the private school children and government school children for the study population as a whole not statistically significant (P = 0.21) The mean calculus score for the private school children was 0.8206 and the mean calculus score for government school children were 0.7192.
CONCLUSION- The results of the study concluded that there were differences in oral health information obtained between public and private school students. This difference in the level of knowledge may be due to differences in the level of education between the two types of students. Students have responded well to engaging in oral health education for children and can undoubtedly be instrumental in this work. However, if schoolchildren are given the right training, learning materials, and support from dentists who are experienced in public health, it can bring about a change in the knowledge, attitudes, and behavior of our country's students.