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Oral Health Prev Dent. 2017;15(1):41-48. doi: 10.3290/j.ohpd.a37712.

Oral Health Literacy and Retention of Health Information Among Pregnant Women: A Randomised Controlled Trial.



This study evaluated the effect of oral health literacy (OHL) on the retention of health information in pregnant women.


A total of 175 pregnant women were randomly assigned to standard oral (spoken), written and control intervention groups. With the exception of the control group, the interventions investigated the eating habits and oral hygiene among children under 2 years of age. The participants' answers before the interventions (pre-test), 15 min after the interventions (post-test) and 4 weeks after the interventions (follow-up test) were used to estimate the knowledge score (KS). Information acquisition was determined by comparing pre-test and post-test results, while retention of information was based comparing pre-test and follow-up test results. OHL was analysed by BREALD-30. The data were assessed by nonparametric tests and Poisson regression models with robust variance (α = 0.05).


By the end of the follow-up period, 162 pregnant women had been assessed. The BREALD-30 mean was 22.3 (SD = 4.80). Regardless of the type of intervention, pregnant women with low OHL had lower knowledge scores in the three assessments. Participants with low OHL showed higher acquisition and retention of information in the standard oral health intervention. Multiple regression models demonstrated that OHL was independently associated with KS, age, socioeconomic status and type of intervention.


The results suggest a negative effect of low OHL on retention of information. Only the standard, spoken oral health intervention could address the differences in literacy levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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