Knowledge, Attitudes and Practice Behaviour of Midwives Conc | 52428
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Knowledge, Attitudes and Practice Behaviour of Midwives Concerning Periodontal Health of Pregnant Patients


Jennifer Gia-linh Nguyen

Maternal gum disease is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes
such as preterm birth and low birthweight. This study
aims to evaluate the knowledge, attitudes and practice behaviour
of Australian midwives regarding the periodontal health of
pregnant women to inform interprofessional antenatal care.
This was an observational, cross-sectional study. We circulated
an online questionnaire to Australian midwives from August
2018 to February 2019. Key outcome variables were knowledge,
attitudes, and practice behaviours related to oral health. Key
predictor variables were years of practice, practice location, and
dental history. We summarized responses with frequency tables
and assigned tallied scores for analysis using non-parametric
statistical tests. 100 responses were analysed, including from
rural (n = 23) and urban (n = 77) midwives. Eighty percent of
midwives agreed that maternal dental care can positively affect
pregnancy outcomes. Fluoridated toothpaste use (19.1%) was
incorrectly answered to prevent gum disease more often than
psychological stress control (7.9%), a correct answer. Rural midwives
demonstrated a significantly higher knowledge score (p =
0.001) and significantly more positive practice behaviours towards
oral health (p = 0.014) than urban midwives. Australian
midwives have positive attitudes towards antenatal oral health
but misunderstand gum disease aetiology and prevention. This
study highlights areas to improve interprofessional education
for optimal oral health and pregnancy outcomes.

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