A pre and post-test assessment of oral health intervention: caregivers’ knowledge and attitudes at long-term care facilities in the eThekwini district, KwaZulu-Natal.





caregivers, long-term care facilities, institutionalised residents, oral health education, oral health training


Oral health remains a neglected aspect of health care among vulnerable populations residing at long-term care facilities. Routine oral health education and training for caregivers have the potential to improve oral health provision.

Aims and Objectives

To determine the effect of an oral health intervention on caregivers’ knowledge and attitudes.


This exploratory study utilised a pre/post-test assessment approach. A total of participated. A pre-test questionnaire was distributed among 145 caregivers from seven long-term care facilities in eThekwini district. An online oral health educational intervention was implemented four weeks later. Six months later, a post-test questionnaire was administered. A Mann-Whitney test and paired sample test were used for statistical analysis. p<0.05 was considered statistically significant.


Participants (n=19; 13.1%) reported that brushing twice a day and flossing were the two most important dental habits in the pre-intervention phase, compared to 71% (n=103) in the post-intervention phase. Caregivers (n=124; 85.5%) in the pre-intervention phase reported to feel that they should be trained in providing oral health care, compared to 93.8% (n=136) in the post-intervention phase.


The oral health intervention had a positive effect on caregivers’ knowledge and attitudes. This finding necessitates routine oral health education and training for caregivers.


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Author Biography

Shenuka Singh, Discipline of Dentistry, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Prof Shenuka Singh: B.OH, M.Sc (Dent), PhD (UWC), PG Dip Heal Res Ethics (Stell), PhD Clin and Res Ethics) (Stell)


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How to Cite

Balwanth, S., & Singh, S. (2023). A pre and post-test assessment of oral health intervention: caregivers’ knowledge and attitudes at long-term care facilities in the eThekwini district, KwaZulu-Natal. South African Dental Journal, 78(04). https://doi.org/10.17159/sadj.v78i04.15177

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