Evaluating the oral health knowledge, attitude and practice among undergraduate students and staff at selected federal University in Imo state, Nigeria


  • Stanley Chibuzor Onwubu Chemistry, Durban University of Technology (DUT), Durban, South Africa. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4499-1534
  • ingsley Chukwuka Ogwo Dental Technology, Federal University of Technology (FUTO), Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.
  • Uchenna Promise Onyenu Dental Technology, Federal University of Technology (FUTO), Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.
  • Getrude Chika Iwueke Dental Technology, Federal University of Technology (FUTO), Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.
  • Thabang Hendrica Mokhothu Chemistry, Durban University of Technology (DUT), Durban, South Africa.




Attitude, Knowledge, practice, oral health, university


Oral health is an essential component of an individual’s general health and overall well-being. Although past studies have evaluated oral health knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP), little is known about the level of KAP between students and staff of higher education institutions. This study aimed to evaluate oral health knowledge, attitudes, and practices among undergraduate students
and staff at a selected University of Technology in Nigeria. A multicentre cross-sectional survey was conducted between May – June 2021 with a sample of 747 consisting of 378 students and 369 staff, recruited from 8 faculties across the University. One-way ANOVA test was applied for the statistical evaluation of numerical measures. The association between knowledge, attitudes and practice scores were assessed using Pearson correlation analyses (α=.0.05).  No significant differences were found in the oral health knowledge, attitude, and practices between the students and staff (P>0.05). Overall, the finding suggests that 84.3% of the respondents had a positive attitude toward oral health, 92.5% had high knowledge and 87.4% practised oral health was adequate. The respondents KAP differed by socio-demographic characteristics. The relationship between knowledge and practice was fair (r = 0.358, p < 0.01) while positive weak correlations were observed between attitude and practice (r = 0.198, p < 0.01), and between knowledge and attitude (r = 0.173, p < 0.01). The salient feature of this study suggests that while there was a high level of knowledge among the respondents,
the attitude and actual practice of oral healthcare does not commensurate with the level of knowledge. Nonetheless, it was found that knowledge had positive associations with the practice of oral health care. The findings suggest there is a need to improve the
knowledge about oral health practice among both staff and students through a tailored design of community based awareness to increase oral health practice.


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Author Biography

Thabang Hendrica Mokhothu, Chemistry, Durban University of Technology (DUT), Durban, South Africa.


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How to Cite

Onwubu, S. C., Ogwo, ingsley C., Onyenu, U. P., Iwueke, G. C., & Mokhothu, T. H. (2022). Evaluating the oral health knowledge, attitude and practice among undergraduate students and staff at selected federal University in Imo state, Nigeria. South African Dental Journal, 77(10), 610–619. https://doi.org/10.17159/2519-0105/2022/v77no10a4

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