To investigate the dental attitudes, knowledge and dental health practices of children and adults with a previous
diagnosis of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis JIA. STUDY DESIGN: A self-completion questionnaire.
children and 82 adults with JIA were age and gender matched with 152 healthy controls. For those below the age of 16 years, the
parents� attitude, knowledge and dental health practices were investigated by the questionnaire. The adult subjects and controls
completed an identical questionnaire assessing their own attitude, knowledge and dental health practices.
of 84 and 75 were achieved for the subject and controls respectively. Both groups responded similarly to questions
assessing perception of different medical conditions. The majority of respondents thought leukaemia was a very serious condition.
Twenty-seven percent of subjects and 34 of controls felt dental decay was �slightly or not serious�. Ninety percent of subjects
and 93 of controls knew having sweet snacks during the day would harm teeth, but fewer were sure that eating sweet foods at
mealtimes only would help reduce decay. The majority of respondents 63 and 56 respectively did not know
whether children should receive fluoride tablets but the majority of subjects in both groups had attended a dentist within the last year.
STATISTICS: Descriptive analyses and chi-squared analysis were undertaken. A p-value of 0.01 was taken as strong evidence of a
difference between groups.
The perception of health and illness by both groups was appropriate. The questions
investigating dental knowledge revealed understanding of the basic messages of prevention of dental disease, but finer detail appeared
less well understood. Responses concerning dental health confirmed positive attitudes towards good dental health habits. The benefits
of brushing with fluoride toothpaste were known, and the majority toothbrushed daily and received dental care within the previous
Vol.6 – n.4/2005
Harvard: P. J. Waterhouse, J. M. Thomason, J. F. Fitzgerald, H. E. Foster, I. N. Steen, R. R. Welbury (2005) "The dental attitudes, knowledge and health practices of patients with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 6(4), pp202-208. doi:
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