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Knowledge, beliefs and behavior related to oral health among Tanzanian and Ugandan teacher trainees
Nordrehaug +str°m,Anne / May 2000


This study was designed to assess levels of oral health knowledge, beliefs and self-reported behavior among teacher trainees in Uganda and Tanzania. Anonymous questionnaire data were collected from trainees attending the final year at teacher training colleges in Rungwe district, Tanzania, in 1997, and in Mbale and Kampala districts of Uganda, in 1998. A total of 195 trainees from Tanzania and 225 trainees from Uganda participated. Results from Pearson's h2 test and independent sample t tests indicated that Tanzanian students had less experience with oral impairments, were more resolutely prepared to teach about the importance of personal habits for oral health maintenance, and had higher levels of oral health knowledge than Ugandan students. Ugandan students endorsed frequent consumption of sugar products more often than their Tanzanian counterparts, but they were more diligent in visiting dentists. Most of the Tanzanian (97.4%) and Ugandan (95.6%) students reported daily toothbrushing. In both countries, beliefs about the importance of preventive behaviors for oral health were closely related to the frequency with which such habits occurred. This cross-cultural consistency highlights the importance of cognitive factors. The implications for oral health educational programs among teacher trainees across East African countries are discussed

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