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Enhancing Oral Health Via Sense of Coherence: a Cluster Randomized Trial

Posted on September 28, 2012

Alexandria, Va.– Today, the International and American Associations for Dental Research (IADR/AADR) published a study titled “Enhancing Oral Health via Sense of Coherence: a Cluster Randomized Trial.” This study by lead author Orawan Nammontri, University of Sheffield, UK, is published in the IADR/AADR Journal of Dental Research.

Sense of coherence (SOC) has been related to oral health behaviors and oral health related quality of life (OHRQoL) in observational studies. This cluster randomized trial aimed to test the effect of an intervention to enhance SOC on OHRQoL in children.

In this study, 12 primary schools in Thailand were randomly allocated to intervention and control groups. The intervention comprised seven sessions over two months, focusing on child participation and empowerment. The first four sessions were classroom activities and the last three involved working on healthy school projects.

Trained teachers, who received a one-day course, delivered the intervention. Socio-demographic and clinical data, together with self-report measures of OHRQoL, SOC and oral health beliefs were obtained from 261 10 to 12 year olds (133 in the intervention and 128 in the control group). Data were collected at baseline, two weeks after the intervention and at threemonth follow-up. Mixed effects models indicated that the intervention increased SOC and improved OHRQoL, together with oral health beliefs and gingival health.

The findings offer experimental evidence that OHRQoL can be influenced by SOC. SOC may also provide an avenue for oral health promotion.

“The IADR/AADR Journal of Dental Research is pleased to publish this study about enhancing oral health via sense of coherence,” said JDR Editor-in-Chief William Giannobile. “This study provides an in-depth look at a cluster randomized trial for patient oral health motivational strategies.”

A companion perspective article titled “Are dental health behaviors rational, after all?” was written by Gary Slade, University of North Carolina, USA. In it, Slade highlights that the new study by Nammontri et al. demonstrated benefits for children's oral health while advancing researchers' understanding of health behaviors and additional investigations will be necessary to verify the benefits of the intervention.

Visit http://jdr.sagepub.com/content/early/recent for links to the complete articles or contact Ingrid L. Thomas at ithomas@iadr.org to request the PDFs.