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Objective: Schizophrenia patients may lack self-care and are at risk of poor oral hygiene. They tend to develop oral diseases due to the secondary effects of medications. This research aimed to evaluate the efficiency of the educational program in oral hygiene care based on the health belief model (HBM) and encouragement from caregivers to improve oral health and oral health behaviors of schizophrenia older persons.
Materials and Methods: The study consisted of 24 schizophrenia out-patients at Srithanya Hospital and their caregivers. Participants were randomly allocated to testing and controlling groups. The test group received the educational program. The control group got instruction at the chairside. Oral health status, behaviors, health beliefs, and patients’ perception of support from caregivers were assessed before and after intervention and at 1-and 4- month follow-ups and compared. The oral health knowledge of caregivers was also assessed.
Results: There were no statistically significant differences between the test and control groups in oral health status, behaviors, health beliefs, the patients’ perception of support, and oral health knowledge of caregivers at baseline (p ≤0.05). After the intervention, all mentioned variable scores of the test group improved significantly and were better than the control group (p ≤0.05). There were an 83.3% improvement in social support scores in the test group and 56.9% in the control group. The knowledge scores of caregivers in the test group were significantly higher than the control group (p ≤0.05).
Conclusion: This educational program based on the HBM was effective in reducing plaque scores, increasing perception of oral diseases, and leading to better oral health behaviors while the caregivers also paid more attention to the patients’ oral health.
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