University of Oulu

Community-wide oral health promotion in the Pitkäranta district of Russian Karelia : a case study

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Author: Hiiri, Anne1,2
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Dentistry, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
2University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Dentistry, Institute of Dentistry
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2008
Publish Date: 2008-09-09
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic dissertation to be presented, with the assent of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Oulu, for public defence in Auditorium 1 of the Institute of Dentistry (Aapistie 3), on September 19th, 2008, at 12 noon
Reviewer: Professor Eino Honkala
Docent Tiina Laatikainen


The aim of this study was to describe the planning, implementation and evaluation of a community-wide programme of oral health promotion that begun in 1993 in the Pitkäranta district of Russian Karelia. Baseline analysis of the community included clinical dental examinations and questionnaire surveys which were carried out in the same way as in the Finnish reference areas, Kuopio and Jyväskylä, in 1992. In addition, interviews of stomatologists and dentists, observations at local shops, kiosks, schools and dental clinics, and determinations of fluoride levels in drinking water were carried out in the Pitkäranta district. Previous information on oral health and its determinants among children in the Republic of Karelia was sought in the literature, from local statistics and from patient documents in the Pitkäranta district.

Community analysis at baseline revealed that in the Pitkäranta district the occurrence of dental diseases was high. Behaviours related to oral health were generally unfavourable, and professional prevention at dental offices was practically non-existent. Therefore, the results of the baseline analysis of the community in 1993 called for an intervention with emphasis on enhancing healthy lifestyles, reorienting the methods of action of the system of oral health care towards health promotion and prevention of diseases, creating a supportive environment and empowering community actions as suggested in the Ottawa Charter. The goal was to achieve at least the same level of oral health as that found among children in the Finnish reference areas.

In the 2001 follow-up, community oral health was analysed with the methods used in 1993. The results of the follow-up community analysis were used to monitor the changes in 1993–2001 and to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the programme. The improvements in oral health and in oral health-related behaviours among children as well as other developments in the community were impressive. Some oral health-related behaviours, such as frequent use of sugary snacks, non-daily use of fluoridated toothpaste and increasing smoking among adolescents, called for further actions.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. D, Medica
ISSN-E: 1796-2234
ISBN: 978-951-42-8857-9
ISBN Print: 978-951-42-8856-2
Issue: 978
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2008. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.