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Factors associated with oral health literacy among users of primary health care


Health literacy
Oral health
Primary health care

How to Cite

Bado FMR, Oliveira Júnior AJ de, Silva Junior MF, Soares GH, Cortellazzi KL, Mialhe FL. Factors associated with oral health literacy among users of primary health care: a cross-sectional study. Braz. J. Oral Sci. [Internet]. 2023 Jul. 18 [cited 2024 May 30];22(00):e230106. Available from:


Aim: To analyze associations between sociodemographic factors, self-perception, self-care practices in health with Oral Health Literacy (OHL) levels among users of Primary Health Care (PHC). Methods: A cross-sectional and analytical study was performed in Piracicaba (São Paulo), Brazil, in 2018, with a convenience sample of users of PHC that were aged over 18 years. Data were collected with a questionnaire by a trained dentist in two Family Health Units. The outcome variable was OHL, measured by the OHLA-B instrument, which was dichotomized by median into low (≤8 point) and high (>8 point). The independent variables were sociodemographic conditions (age, sex, self-declared skin color, and education), self-perceived oral health and self-care practices in health (tooth brushing frequency, smoking habits, reason for the last visit to the dentist, and source of health information search). Unadjusted and adjusted analyses were performed between OHL and independent variables for multiple logistic regression model (p≤0.05). Results: The sample consisted of 450 adults. A total of 54.7% had a low OHL. After adjusting for sex and age, OHL was associated with skin color (OR=0.57; 95%CI=0.37-085), educational level (OR=4.92; 95%CI=3.16-7.79), health information from health professionals (OR=2.40; 95%CI=1.42-4.16) and internet (OR=2.88; 95%CI=1.59-5.32), toothbrushing >1 time a day (OR=3.23; 95%CI=1.27-9.92) and smokers (OR=0.42; 95%CI=0.23-0.73). After adjusting for sex, age and income, OHL was associated with (OR=0.63; 95%CI=0.41-096), educational level (OR=4.06; 95%CI=2.57-6.51) and smokers (OR=0.48; 95%CI=0.26-0.84). Conclusions: Low OHL was associated with socioeconomic factors, source of information and smoking. This fact highlights the importance of health professionals to promote OHL.


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Copyright (c) 2022 Fernanda Maria Rovai Bado, Alcir José de Oliveira Júnior, Manoelito Ferreira Silva Junior, Gustavo Hermes Soares, Karine Laura Cortellazzi, Fábio Luiz Mialhe


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