Date of Award

Summer 1998

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Dental Hygiene (MSDH)

Department

Dental Hygiene

Committee Director

Michele Darby (Director)

Committee Member

Deborah Bauman (Member)

Committee Member

Lynn Tolle-Watts (Member)

Abstract

The purpose of this descriptive study was to determine the oral health knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of Qatari people. The convenience sample consisted of 859 Qatari people between the ages of 18-72 from Hamad Medical Corporation Dental Department,

Public Dental Health Care Centres, University of Qatar, Police and Army Departments, governmental schools, a private dental clinic, and citizens. Participants were asked to complete a self-designed questionnaire titled Oral Health Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors of

Qatari People. Prior to the study, 20 Arab college students responded to the questionnaire in a test-retest procedure to establish instrument reliability. The content validity of the questionnaire was established by a panel of dental hygiene experts at Old Dominion University.

Questionnaire data were analyzed using frequencies, percentages, the chi-square test of independence, and the analysis of residual test.

Findings revealed that 74.4% of the respondents visit a dental clinic for dental cleanings, but of this number, 62.2% did not receive any toothbrushing instructions; and 63.2% did not receive flossing instructions. Forty-eight point eight percent visit the dental hygienist or dentist when they experience pain and the majority (61.8%) brush more than once a day. Most of the respondents arrive late for dental care because of other commitments. The majority of respondents willingly accepted oral hygiene instructions given at each dental visit, demonstrate their home care technique to the dentist or dental hygienist, cooperate in an oral hygiene evaluation of their mouths at each dental appointment, and return for professional teeth cleaning appointments if necessary. Almost half of the respondents (46.9%) feel embarrassed when told that their oral hygiene needs improvement, or when they (38.2%) need to learn oral hygiene techniques from a professional of the opposite gender.

Chi-square analysis revealed a statistically significant association among the demographic variables of either age, gender, level of education, or distance between their home and a dental clinic and the following items: the frequency of visiting the dental hygienist/dentist, toothbrushing frequency, the time spent each day cleaning the teeth, the reason for arriving late to the dental clinic, the reaction to oral hygiene instructions given at each dental hygiene appointment, the reaction when asked to demonstrate home care techniques at the dental clinic, the reaction when their oral hygiene is checked at each visit, the reaction when asked to return for several professional teeth cleaning appointments, and the embarrassment when told that oral hygiene needs improvement or when taught oral hygiene instructions. Results suggest an association between the demographic variables of age and level of education and the following items: accepting new oral hygiene concepts from dental hygienist/dentist, and following the hygienist's/dentist's instructions. In all, results suggest that the Qatari people surveyed have positive attitudes toward accepting oral healthcare, little knowledge of contemporary oral health concepts, and positive oral health behaviors.

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