Evaluating the knowledge, attitude, and behaviors of obstetricians and midwives regarding oral health in pregnant women

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Periodontics, School of Dentistry, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran

2 Department of Health Education, School of Public Health, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran

3 - Dentist, Private Practice, Yazd, Iran


BACKGROUND AND AIM: Poor oral health is known as a risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcomes such as low birth weight (LBW) and preterm birth. Few studies have evaluated the knowledge and behaviors of healthcare professionals about oral health during pregnancy and the possible role of periodontal diseases in adverse pregnancy outcomes. The present study aimed to compare the knowledge and practice behaviors of obstetricians and midwives about oral health.
METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, a self-structured questionnaire was randomly distributed among 80 obstetricians and midwives in Yazd, Iran. For analyzing data, chi-square test, t-test, ANOVA, and Spearman correlation test were used.
RESULTS: 80 women with an average age of 47 years participated in the study. 70.0% of the subjects selected the reversible gingival inflammation as the definition of gingivitis and 43.8% of them considered dental plaque as the main cause of periodontal diseases. 58.8% of the subjects believed that gingivitis occurs during pregnancy. 90.0% considered the second trimester of pregnancy as the safest time for dental treatments. Only 38.8% of the participants explained to their patients about the importance of oral health. There was no relationship between age and the knowledge level and behavior, but the attitude about the oral health improved as the age increased (r = 0.294). The relationship between the field of study and marital status with knowledge, attitude, and practice behavior was not significant. Academic sources were chosen as the first knowledge source (41.3%).
CONCLUSION: The level of knowledge and practice behaviors of participants were undesirable, but their attitude was acceptable. Updating the information of participants about oral health by inclusion of the oral health issues in their academic textbooks can improve their awareness and practice behaviors.


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