Impact of School-based Online Oral Health
Education Programme during COVID-19
Pandemic: A Cross-sectional Study
in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Dr. Rabaa Mahmoud Aboubakr,
Associate Professor, Department of Paediatric Dentistry and Dental Public Health, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt.
Introduction: Oral Health (OH) is essential to general health and quality of life. It is affected by the individualâ€™s experiences and perceptions.
Aim: To evaluate the effect of online Oral Health Education (OHE) programme on OH knowledge level on school students in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted virtually on school students in Riyadh city, Saudi Arabia, between February 2021 and May 2021. The sample was based on non probability convenience sampling technique in which 489 students participated in the study. The electronic survey consisted of questions about demographics, school characteristics, and OH knowledge. Online OHE was conducted by dental students of Vision colleges via Zoom and Microsoft teams. Collected data were analysed using using IBM, Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.0, IL, USA. Comparison of differences in the mean knowledge scores across different variables was done using Independent t-test for two means and one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for more than two means. Linear regression analysis was used to analyse the association between knowledge and other variables in a multivariate environment, and presented by β coefficients and 95% Confidence Interval (95% CI). Significance level was set at p-value <0.05.
Results: Online education had significantly increased the level of knowledge about OH compared to no education (β: 0.46, 95% CI: 0.01, 0.89, p-value=0.04). Students in public schools had significantly higher level of knowledge about OH compared to private schools (β: 0.60, 95% CI: 0.10, 1.11, p-value=0.02). Compared to â€˜1st to 3rd gradeâ€™, students in â€˜middle to high gradesâ€™ had significantly lower knowledge about OH (β:-1.17, 95% CI:-1.87,-0.47, p-value=0.001).
Conclusion: It was concluded that the online health education programme increased the OH knowledge of school students. Students in public schools had higher level about OH compared to private schoolsâ€™ students. Additionally, primary schoolsâ€™ children had higher knowledge than middle and higher schoolsâ€™ children.