How much information is remembered by the patients? A selective study related to health education on a Swedish public health survey
The purpose of this study was to investigate the degree to which patients have perceived that they got questions or advice about eating habits and smoking habits at their last visit at the dental clinic and if this information was differently distributed between different age groups. A further aim was to study whether there were differences in the proportions of questions and advice given to individuals who perceived problems regarding caries and gum bleeding compared to those that did not feel they had problems. The results are based on a postal questionnaire survey,"Life and Health 2008". The study was conducted in a population of women and men aged 18-84 years in 5 counties in Sweden. A total of 68,710 questionnaires were sent out and the response rate was 59.2%. Substantial differences in proportions existed between age groups regarding who received questions and advice related to dental caries and periodontal disease. The differences between age groups regarding information were statistically significant since it was less common that older people got questions and advice than younger.These differences also exist, but less pronounced, between those with disease related problems and those without.Three factors were statistically significantly associated with information. Age, education level and problems with caries or bleeding gums had statistical effect on the prevalence of questions and advice related to eating habits or smoking habits respectively. In conclusion, it is an urgent need of education in methods for dental staff if they want to contribute to changes in life style behaviors for their patients since most patients today don't perceive that they got important disease relevant information at the last dental visit.