Knowledge, attitude and practices of pediatricians regarding the prevention of oral diseases in ItalyReport as inadecuate

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BMC Public Health

, 6:176

First Online: 05 July 2006Received: 06 February 2006Accepted: 05 July 2006DOI: 10.1186-1471-2458-6-176

Cite this article as: Di Giuseppe, G., Nobile, C.G., Marinelli, A. et al. BMC Public Health 2006 6: 176. doi:10.1186-1471-2458-6-176


BackgroundPediatricians are in an ideal position to advise families about the prevention and management of oral diseases in children. The objective of the study was to determine knowledge, attitude, and practices regarding the prevention of oral diseases among pediatricians in Italy.

MethodsA systematic random sample of 1000 pediatricians received a questionnaire on socio-demographic and practice characteristics; knowledge on risk factors; attitude and practices towards the prevention of oral diseases.

ResultsA total of 507 pediatricians participated. More than half knew the main risk factors for oral diseases and this knowledge was higher in primary care pediatricians p = 0.007, in those with a higher number of hours worked per week p = 0.012, and who believed that oral diseases may be prevented p = 0.017. Pediatricians with higher knowledge about the main risk factors p = 0.006 believe that they have an important role in preventing oral diseases and that they can perform an oral examination. Almost all 89% prescribed fluoride supplements and those younger p = 0.016, with a higher number of patients seen in workday p = 0.001, with longer practice activity p = 0.004, those who believe that fluoride is effective in preventing caries p < 0.0001, and who learned about prevention from scientific sources p = 0.002 were more likely to prescribe fluoride. One-fourth and 40.6% provides and recommends a dental visit once a year and primary care pediatricians p = 0.014 and those who believed that routine visit is important in preventing oral diseases p < 0.0001 were more likely to recommend a dental visit once a year.

ConclusionThe results showed a lack of knowledge among pediatricians although almost all believed that they had an important responsibility in preventing oral diseases and provided an oral examination.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2458-6-176 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Gabriella Di Giuseppe - Carmelo GA Nobile - Alessandra Marinelli - Italo F Angelillo


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