Evaluation of mothers’ awareness about early childhood caries in Yasuj, Iran, 2015-2016

Document Type: Original Article(s)


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran

3 Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shiraz, Iran

4 PhD Student, Department of Dental Public Health, School of Dentistry, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran


BACKGROUND AND AIM: Early childhood caries (ECC) is a multifactorial disease and several factors are implicated in its establishment. Considering the numerous problems those children with ECC face and the important role of parents in preventing them, the aim of this study was to evaluate the mothers’ awareness about ECC in Yasuj, Iran.METHODS: It was a cross-sectional study. The study population included 384 mothers of children below 6 years, who were randomly selected from the children referring to 4 urban healthcare centers. The data were collected using a 30-item questionnaire to assess mothers’ awareness about definition, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of ECC. The face and content validities of the questionnaire were confirmed by pediatric dentists and experts in questionnaire design. Its reliability was confirmed with a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.73. Descriptive (mean, standard deviation, frequency) and analytic statistics (Spearman correlation coefficient) were used for data analysis.RESULTS: The mean age of children was 2.45 ± 1.46 years while the mean age of mothers was 29.71 ± 5.04 years. Almost half of the mothers had high school education, while others had higher degrees. Mothers’ awareness about ECC was poor in 20.8% of the cases, moderate in 62.2% of the cases, and good in 16.9% of the cases. It was observed that mother’s awareness about ECC had statistically significant direct relationships with both mother’s age and education. Based on multivariate linear regression, mother’s age (β = 0.17, P = 0.0001) and their education (β = 0.20, P = 0.0001) had significantly direct relation with mother’s awareness, too.CONCLUSION: Considering the undesirable ECC awareness level in the majority of Yasujian mothers and its association with mothers’ educations, the implementation of interventions to increase mothers’ awareness seems essential in this regard.


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