Submitted: 19 Apr 2023
Revision: 12 Oct 2023
Accepted: 19 Dec 2023
ePublished: 29 Dec 2023
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J Educ Community Health. 2023;10(4): 185-190.
doi: 10.34172/jech.2366

Scopus ID: 85186087365
  Abstract View: 560
  PDF Download: 400

Oral Health

Original Article

Oral Hygiene Behaviors and Oral Health Literacy Among Informal Thai Workers in Rural Areas

Nattakarn Phakayawong 1 ORCID logo, Wirin Kittipichai 1* ORCID logo

1 Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
*Corresponding Author: Wirin Kittipichai, Email: wirin.kit@mahidol.ac.th, Email: wirin.kit@mahidol.ac.th


Background: Informal Thai workers experience disparities in accessing health services. Improper oral healthcare behavior is the main cause of oral diseases. Promoting oral health literacy (OHL) is an essential strategy for achieving positive oral health outcomes. This study aimed to investigate OHL, oral hygiene behavior (OHB), and associated factors of OHB among informal Thai workers in a rural context.

Methods: A cross-sectional community-based survey was conducted among 274 informal Thai workers aged 20–59 years. The data were collected through face-to-face interviews with questionnaires. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of the OHL scale was 0.86. Data were analyzed using simple and multiple logistic regression with a 95% confidence interval (CI).

Results: The findings revealed that 138 of the participants (50.4%) had proper OHB, and 46.4% had proficiency in overall OHL. Seven factors were significantly associated with OHB, namely, educational attainment, the job sector, the sufficiency of family income, and three OHL dimensions, including understand, appraise, and apply. However, three predictors of proper OHB were those who attained secondary school and higher education (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 2.24, 95% CI: 1.31–3.85) and OHL proficiency in the understand and appraise components (AOR: 2.23, 95% CI: 1.25–4.00 and AOR: 1.98, 95% CI: 1.11–3.52, respectively).

Conclusion: Therefore, public health dental care units should organize activities to improve workers’ capacity and ability to exhibit OHB. The OHL promotion program should be developed with an emphasis on providing the public with a detailed understanding of oral hygiene. Dental health education is enhanced by inquiring, verifying, and looking at skills to help them gain the skills and confidence to provide consistent oral care.

Please cite this article as follows: Phakayawong N, Kittipichai W. Oral hygiene behaviors and oral health literacy among informal Thai workers in rural areas. J Educ Community Health. 2023; 10(4):185-190. doi:10.34172/jech.2366
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