University of Oulu

Mohebbi, S., Rabiei, S., Yazdani, R., Nieminen, P., Virtanen, J. (2018) Evaluation of an educational intervention in oral health for primary care physicians: a cluster randomized controlled study. BMC Oral Health, 18, 218. doi:10.1186/s12903-018-0676-2

Evaluation of an educational intervention in oral health for primary care physicians : a cluster randomized controlled study

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Author: Mohebbi, Simin Z.1,2; Rabiei, Sepideh1,2; Yazdani, Reza1,2;
Organizations: 1Research Center for Caries Prevention, Dentistry Research Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences
2Department of Community Oral Health, School of Dentistry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences
3Medical Informatics and Statistics Research Group, University of Oulu
4Department of Clinical Dentistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Bergen
5Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2018
Publish Date: 2019-01-30


Background: Family physicians are in frequent contact with patients, and their contribution to oral health promotion programs could be utilized more effectively. We implemented an oral health care (OHC) educational seminar for physicians and evaluated its impact on their knowledge retention in OHC.

Methods: We conducted an educational trial for primary care physicians (n = 106) working in Public Health Centers in Tehran city. We launched a self-administered questionnaire about pediatric dentistry, general dental, and dentistry-related medical knowledge and backgrounds. Physicians in intervention group A (n = 38) received an educational intervention (Booklet, Continuous Medical Education (CME), and Pamphlet), and those in group B (n = 32) received only an OHC pamphlet. Group C (n = 36) served as the control. A post-intervention survey followed four months later to measure the difference in the physicians’ knowledge; the Chi-square test, ANOVA and linear regression analysis served for statistical analysis.

Results: The intervention significantly increased the physicians’ oral health knowledge scores in all three domains and their total knowledge score (p <  0.001). Those physicians who had lower knowledge scores at the baseline showed a higher increase in their post-intervention knowledge. The models showed no associations between the background variables and the knowledge change.

Conclusion: The primary care physicians’ OHC knowledge improved considerably after an educational seminar with a reminder. These findings suggest that OHC topics should be included in physicians’ CME programs or in their curriculum to promote oral health, especially among non-privileged populations.

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Series: BMC oral health
ISSN: 1472-6831
ISSN-E: 1472-6831
ISSN-L: 1472-6831
Volume: 18
Article number: 218
DOI: 10.1186/s12903-018-0676-2
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 313 Dentistry
Funding: This study was financially supported by School of Dentistry; Tehran University of Medical Sciences grant number 90–01–69-12912 for a PhD in Community Oral Health thesis.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.