International Journal of Health Sciences and Research

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Original Research Article

Year: 2018 | Month: February | Volume: 8 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 73-82

Adolescents’ Health Behaviours In Relation to Dental and Medical Consultation in Tanzania

Febronia Kokulengya Kahabuka1, Poul Erik Petersen2, Hawa Shariff Mbawalla3, Elifuraha Godson Mumghamba4

1Associate Professor, 3Lecturer,Department of Orthodontics, Paedodontics and Community Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, P.O. Box 65014, Dar es Salaam
2Professor, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Community Oral Health Programmes and Research, Department for Global Oral Health and Community Dentistry, Institute for Odontology, Centre for Health and Society, University of Copenhagen, Oester  Farimagsgade 5, P.O. Box 2099, DK-1014 Copenhagen, Denmark
4Senior Lecturer, Department of Restorative Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, P.O. Box 65014, Dar es Salaam

Corresponding Author: Febronia Kokulengya Kahabuka


Background: Health behaviours have direct influence to individuals’ health and remain major explanatory factors for the differences in health-related outcomes.
Aim: To investigate adolescents’ hygiene behaviours, dietary behaviours and the associated dental and medical consultation.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey that was carried out in twelve regions of Tanzania among school going adolescents. A structured questionnaire was used for data collection. Data processing and analysis was done using SPSS computer program version 20, whereby proportions, cross-tabulations for bivariate analysis and binary logistic regression in OR (95% CI) for multivariate were conducted. The level of significance was set at p-value ˂ 0.05.
Results: 4,847 adolescents aged 11-17 years participated in the study. Slightly more than half (51%) exhibited good hygiene behaviours, 36.3% often consumed at least three sugary items, 76.2 % vegetables and 42.1% fresh fruits. Significantly larger proportions of older adolescents (55.6%), secondary school attendees (56.4%), adolescents whose fathers (55.8%) and mothers (54.5%) had secondary to university education demonstrated good hygiene behaviour as compared with their counterparts. The odds of having good hygiene behaviours were higher among those who had visited a medical doctor 1.4 (1.2, 1.6). Higher odds of frequent sugar consumption were seen among adolescents who had visited a dentist 1.6 (1.4, 1.9).
Conclusion: Adolescents had good hygiene behaviours; tooth brushing being the most practiced behaviour. Sugar consumption frequency was noteworthy whereas eating vegetables was the most reported healthy eating behaviour. Good hygiene and frequent sugar consumption were positively associated with medical and dental consultation.

Key words: hygiene practices; dietary practices; adolescents; dental consultation; medical consultation

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