Oral health-related knowledge, attitude and practices [KAP] of adult patients in the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, South Africa
Modikoe, Mahlodi Martha
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Oral health is essential for the general wellbeing of people. The mouth enables people to relate and has structures that aids in chewing, drinking, swallowing, speaking. The mouth is also a pathway to other systems of the body. However, the mouth can be affected by disorders that interferes with people’s daily activities such as going to work or school. Most common oral disorders can be prevented by enhancing the people’s awareness regarding the causes and effects of oral disorders through oral health education. Planning and implementation of an oral health education programme is of more value when oral health-related knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) are known. This study aimed to describe the oral health-related knowledge, attitude and practices KAP of adult patients in Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality (Mangaung Metro). The theory of planned behaviour (TPB) was applied as the foundation for describing KAP of adult patients since research has shown that having oral health-related knowledge does not necessarily guarantee acceptable attitudes and oral health-related practices. A quantitative descriptive design was used and a structured questionnaire as the research technique. The KAP questions were structured in line with the TPB. The population comprised of all adult oral health patients visiting public health care establishments in Mangaung Metro which provide oral health care located in Bloemfontein, Botshabelo and Thaba ’Nchu. On average, 4089 adult patients attended these public health establishments on a monthly basis. Proportional convenient sampling of participants at the sampled public health establishments took place and approval was granted from Health Research Ethics Committee of the University of the Free State (UFS) and the Head of Department of Free State Department of Health (FS DoH). Data was collected from participants (n=207) using questionnaires during the pilot and the main study. The questionnaire was translated into Afrikaans and Sesotho since these languages are mostly spoken in Mangaung Metro. Data was analysed and given meaning by the biostatistician at the UFS using SAS® software. Descriptive statistics, namely frequencies and percentages for categorical data and medians and percentiles for continuous data, were calculated. Data was presented according to the TPB with high percentages of participants’ positive responses towards oral health-related KAP regarded as strengthening oral health-related behaviours/practices. Oral health-related knowledge as reflected by participants’ behavioural beliefs (93.7%), normative beliefs (81.1%), subjective norms (70%) and perceived behavioural control (71.9%), strengthened oral health behaviours positively. Participants’ control beliefs did not strengthen oral health behaviours/practices. Participants’ attitudes (62.3%), intention (98.5%), actual behavioural control (99%) and behaviour (95.1%) strengthened oral health-related behaviours/practices. Understanding the oral health-related KAP of adult patients in Mangaung Metro, would assist the FS DoH to plan an evidence based oral health education programme. A greater sensitivity could be created among the healthcare workers to consider the KAP of adult patients receiving oral health-related care.