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Title

PREDICTORS OF ORAL HEALTH BEHAVIORS IN FEMALE STUDENTS: AN APPLICATION OF THE HEALTH BELIEF MODEL

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Abstract

 Background: Oral and dental health diseases can affect the general health of students.Objectives: The aim of this study was to identify the predictors of oral and dental health behavior using the HEALTH BELIEF MODEL (HBM) in female students in Teheran, Iran.Patients and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study framed by the HBM, including 400 female students living in district 5 of Tehran, Iran. The sampling technique used in this study was multi-stage stratified random sampling. The data on the HBM constructs (perceived severity, perceived susceptibility, perceived benefits, perceived barriers, cues to action, and self-efficacy) and demographic characteristics were collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Descriptive statistics, bivariate correlations, and linear regression were performed to analyze the data, using the SPSS software, version 18.Results: The results showed that there were relationships between the knowledge, perceived barriers, cues to action, and mother’s education with ORAL HEALTH BEHAVIORs. A multivariate hierarchical regression analysis was conducted with the barrier entered at step one, knowledge at step two, and cues to action at step three. Finally, the three variables accounted for 17% of the total variance in the oral and dental health behavior.Conclusions: The current study provided evidence for the utility of the belief-based model in the prediction of ORAL HEALTH BEHAVIORs. It could be suggested that ORAL HEALTH BEHAVIOR can be promoted by reducing the perceived barriers and enhancing the students’ knowledge of oral and dental hygiene.

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