Oral Health-Related Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviours of Arab Dental Students: Multi-National Cross-Sectional Study and Literature Analysis 2000–2020



Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Medicine

Web https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/19/3/1658
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031658
Keywords Arab countries; dental education; dental students; health knowledge; attitudes; practice; Hiroshima University Dental Behavioural Inventory; HU-DBI; Lebanon; oral health; oral hygiene; Syria; Tunisia
Description Dental students are the future leaders of oral health in their respective communities; therefore, their oral health-related attitudes and behaviours are of practical value for primary disease prevention. The present study aimed to evaluate oral health-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours of dental students in Arab countries and explore the potential sociodemographic predictors of their oral health outcomes. A multi-centre, cross-sectional study was conducted during the academic year 2019/2020 in three Arab countries: Lebanon, Syria, and Tunisia. The study used a validated Arabic version of the Hiroshima University Dental Behavioural Inventory (HU-DBI) composed of original twenty items that assess the level of oral health-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours, and four additional dichotomous items related to tobacco smoking, alcohol drinking, problematic internet use, and regular dental check-up. The HU-DBI score ranges between 0 and 12. A total of 1430 students took part in this study, out of which 60.8% were females, 57.8% were enrolled in clinical years, 24.5% were tobacco smokers, 7.2% were alcohol drinkers, and 87% reported internet addiction. The mean HU-DBI score was 6.31 ± 1.84, with Lebanon having the highest score (6.67 ± 1.83), followed by Syria (6.38 ± 1.83) and Tunisia (6.05 ± 1.83). Clinical students (6.78 ± 1.70) had higher HU-DBI scores than their preclinical peers (5.97 ± 1.86). The year-over-year analysis revealed that dental public health and preventive dentistry courses had significantly and positively impacted the undergraduate students’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours. The gender-based differences were not statistically significant, with a modest trend favouring males, especially oral health behaviours. Tobacco smoking, alcohol drinking, and problematic internet use were associated with lower HU-DBI scores. In the Arab world, the economic rank of the country where the dental students live/study was weakly correlated with the students’ mean HU-DBI score.
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.

More info