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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The oral health-related lifestyle of Vancouver inner city elementary school-aged children Shoajei, Azadeh


Objectives: To describe the oral health-related lifestyle of Vancouver inner city elementary school-aged children and relate different aspects of their oral health-related lifestyle with demographic and socioeconomic factors. Methods: This cross-sectional study used a structured questionnaire with some open-ended items to survey 424 school-aged children in Vancouver inner city elementary schools (53.3% boys and 46.7% girls). There were two versions of the questionnaire: the shortened version was used for grades 1-3 and included only multiple choice questions while the comprehensive version for grade 4-7 comprised both structured and open-ended questions. In the questionnaire, different items were used such as ordinal, interval and qualitative to acquire information about different aspects of oral health-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviours. Results: Overall, there was a deficiency in oral-health related knowledge and corresponding behaviours in all age groups and both genders. Thus awareness about oral health in this cohort of children needs to be improved. The oral health-related lifestyle did not differ between boys and girls except for the interdental cleaning behaviour (P=0.033). Oral health-related lifestyle did not differ according to socio-demographic characteristics except for the difference in consumption of sugar-containing drinks among age groups (P<0.001). The diet-related knowledge differed between children born inside and outside Canada (P<0.050). Conclusion: Oral health-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviours among elementary school-aged children in inner-city Vancouver areas was deficient and professional guidance from oral health care workers concerning oral health self-care was lacking. There were no distinct socio-economic or demographic differences in lifestyle factors among the inner city Vancouver school-aged children.

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