Educational interventions aimed at improving the oral health conditions of workers: A critical review


The aim of this research was to identify studies describing the educational and/or health-promoting interventions and strategies used in various programs of oral healthcare conducted in populations of industrial workers. A review of the Science, MEDLINE, LILACS and SCIELO databases was performed for the period between 1980 and 2009. The criteria for a publication to be in- cluded were: 1) the population had to consist of adult workers; and 2) the educational and/or health-promoting interventions had to have been described. A great variety of educational strategies was found, ranging from individual counseling to small-group discussions and instructions on oral hygiene with supervised tooth brushing. The presence of plaque and gingivitis were the most commonly used indicators of the effect of these interventions. Cost evaluation was also an important topic. In general, the indicators analyzed reflected positive results that included a reduction in the indicators themselves (plaque and gingivitis) and in the cost of the programs, suggesting a certain effect of the educational programs developed. Nevertheless, differences in forms of exposure according to the type of occupation are not discussed and neither are specific social determinants such as income and education level. The quality of the studies is limited, which reduces the robustness of the evidence on the effect of educational programs on the work population. Studies should be carried out using mixed approaches to evaluate the efficacy of these programs and propose improvements.

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Lima, L. , Chaves, S. and Castro, P. (2012) Educational interventions aimed at improving the oral health conditions of workers: A critical review. Health, 4, 341-347. doi: 10.4236/health.2012.46056.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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