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Sense of coherence and its relationship with oral health-related behaviour and knowledge of and attitudes towards oral health

Journal article
Authors U Lindmark
Magnus Hakeberg
A Hugoson
Published in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Volume 39
Issue 6
Pages 542-53
ISSN 1600-0528
Publication year 2011
Published at Institute of Odontology
Pages 542-53
Language en
Keywords adults;Oral health;psychosocial aspects of oral health
Subject categories Dentistry, Odontological behavioural science


Abstract –  Objective:  To investigate the relationship between sense of coherence (SOC), oral health–related behaviour, knowledge of and attitudes towards oral health in an adult Swedish population. Methods:  A cross-sectional design with a stratified random sample of 910 individuals aged 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 and 80 years were invited to the study, from Jönköping, Sweden. The investigation used the Swedish short version of the SOC questionnaire comprising 13 items and self-reported questions about oral health habits and knowledge of and attitudes towards oral health. In addition, a self-report questionnaire to elicit demographic information was included. Results:  A total of 525 individuals, 261 men and 264 women, answered all the 13-item SOC questions, which constituted the final number of the participants. After adjustment for all the sociodemographic factors included in the analysis, individuals with a stronger SOC had twice as high a chance of having healthier behaviour, including a lower frequency of snacks and drinks between meals, as well as a more positive attitude, such as the importance of having one’s own teeth as one gets older, satisfaction with their own teeth, perceiving their teeth as good and no feeling of dental fear, compared with individuals with a poorer SOC. Moreover, SOC and a good knowledge of caries were significantly associated after adjustment for age and gender. Conclusions:  SOC was significantly associated with several oral health–related behaviours, attitudes towards oral health and knowledge of dental caries. When working with oral health promotion, SOC could be a way for promoting a better understanding of the behaviour and attitudes of individuals and for enabling dental personals to use that knowledge for the guidance of the individual.

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