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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 10-15

A primary care approach for oral health promotion among HIV patients: An interventional study


1 Department of Prosthodontics, AJ Institute of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, PSG Institute of Medical Sciences, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Coorg Institute of Dental Sciences, Coorg, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Anisha Rodrigues
Department of Prosthodontics, AJ Institute of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_22_20

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Background: HIV-positive patients are at a greater risk for developing oral health problems, making them potentially susceptible to nutritional deficiencies, decreased adherence to treatment, and failure of highly active antiretroviral therapy. Their oral health needs are unmet due to a lack of awareness, social stigma, and other factors. The primary care workers (PCWs) are the first point of contact for health issues of these patients. Aim: The aim of the study was to assess the effectiveness of the educational intervention for the PCWs on oral health. Materials and Methods: This interventional pilot study was conducted at two residential centers for HIV patients in Mangalore. The participants included 15 PCWs working at these centers. An educational module was prepared as the intervention that included dental conditions that could compromise oral health, oral manifestations of HIV, and oral health care. A structured questionnaire was administered to the PCWs before the intervention, immediately after the intervention, and at 3 months. The PCWs were required to routinely examine the HIV patients for any dental or oral health problems and refer them to the dental hospital for treatment. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 20.0 software (Chicago. IL, USA) was used for analysis. p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Repeated measures analysis of variance and Chi-squared test were used for data analysis. Results: 73% of the caretakers had no training in oral health care. Analysis of the mean scores revealed a statistically significant improvement (p < 0.05) in their knowledge and skills from 2.53 ± 1.3 to 7.57 ± 1.2. There was also a statistically significant increase in the number of referrals to the dental hospital. Conclusion: Educating the PCWs showed positive outcomes enabling patients' access to regular professional oral health care, thus improving their quality of life.


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