A study of periodontal disease awareness amongst third-year nursing students at Charles Sturt University

Meghana Pai, Bonnie Ribot Debressac, Helen Tane, Janice Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The aim of this study was to; 1. assess final year nursing students at Charles Sturt University (CSU) about their awareness of periodontal disease and its impact on general health. 2; ascertain final year nursing students' knowledge about the periodontal links to systemic disease as well as their perceived knowledge and abilities to provide informed advice and referrals to at risk patients.
Hypothesis: Third year undergraduate nursing students at CSU are limited in their awareness and knowledge of periodontal disease.
Design: A cross sectional Likert style survey was formulated based on samples of previous periodontal and oral hygiene awareness research surveys.
Subjects and methods: 3rd year nursing students with a mean age of 26.4 were anonymously surveyed using printed Likert style questionaries during scheduled lecture times. This survey pool was drawn from 4 geographically distinct regional CSU campuses in NSW.
Results: 97% of respondents agreed that systemic diseases can present symptoms in the mouth. 35% were unsure if there was an association between periodontal disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes, 79% agreed or strongly agreed that diabetes is a precursor to periodontal infections. 100% agreed or strongly agreed that smoking affects tissues in the mouth. 56% agreed or strongly agreed that they would refer sore, puffy and infected gums to a general practitioner. 70% believed they were comfortable looking into the patient's mouth to detect gum disease. 84% believed that oral hygiene should be incorporated into the nursing curriculum.
Conclusion: The results from the study participants showed they have a sound level of general knowledge regarding issues relating to periodontal disease. However, a majority indicated a lack of confidence and suggested more oral health knowledge should be provided within their nursing curriculum. A recommendation from the results of this study is that an increase in inter-professional collaboration between academic nurses and dental practitioners is required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)686-695
Number of pages10
JournalContemporary Nurse
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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