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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 19-22

Implementation of oral hygiene and handwashing procedures among preschool children: An interventional study

Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, MAHSA University, Jenjarum, Selangor, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
Hematram Yadav
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, MAHSA University, MAHSA University, Jenjarum, Selangor
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijsr.Int_J_Stud_Res_3_18

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Introduction: Maintaining oral hygiene and handwashing is critical in preschool children for disease prevention; however, limited information exists on the educative value of interventional programs in increasing knowledge among preschool children. The current study evaluated the knowledge and practices of hand and oral hygiene before and after a health educational intervention in preschool settings in Malaysia. Methodology: In a cross-sectional interventional study, 168 preschool children from a kindergarten at Tadika Juju in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, were included. A pretest questionnaire evaluated the knowledge across different domains of oral and hand hygiene techniques and habitus, followed by an interactive education intervention. Training was conducted via hands-on demonstration, audiovisual videos, posters, and images (handouts/flyers). The impact of educational intervention on knowledge was evaluated 1 month after the initial training using the same questionnaire as used in the pretest survey. Each evaluation form had 10-graded questions, and the cumulative maximal score that could be attained based on the adequate responses to individual questions was 25. The scoring for each participant was categorized into poor (score: 0–9), average (score: 10–19), and good (score: 20–25) based on their scores for their responses. The difference between the means of pre- and postintervention mean scores across the predefined ratings of poor, average, or good was assessed using a paired t-test. Results: Overall, a significant improvement in knowledge on oral health and hand hygiene after the intervention was noted in the study participants (P < 0.05). The improvement in mean test scores following intervention was evident across both male and female children. Conclusion: Intervention programs should be implemented to increase the awareness and knowledge of preschool children for adequate maintenance of oral and hand hygiene practices, thereby averting the burden of preventable infectious diseases.

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