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A Leader, Jefferson College of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University,

J Gluch, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Philadelphia, PA


Health literacy is defined is a measure of patients' ability to read, comprehend, and act on medical instructions. Poor health literacy levels can be commonly found among racial and ethnic minorities, elderly persons, and patients with chronic conditions such as Diabetes. Few studies have investigated the association between oral health literacy and oral health outcomes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between oral health literacy and the oral health status among diabetic patients. Participants completed a questionnaire consisting of 11 questions about their dental health knowledge and 30 words from the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Dentistry (REALD-30). Analyses consisted of means, frequencies and bivariate associations. A total of 30 surveys were completed. Out of the 30 participants, 46% were males and 54% were females; 56% reported Caucasian race. Sixty percent of the study population did not have a college degree and more than 50% of the population did not have dental insurance. The mean knowledge score was 8.43 (SD = 2.41; range: 3-11) and the mean of REALD 30 scores was 18.33 (SD = 6.80; range: 4-29). Females were significantly more likely to have higher oral health literacy level compared to males (χ2 = 6.467, p = .011). There were no significant differences in dental health knowledge by participant characteristics of race, gender, insurance status, age or educational achievement. A positive yet non-significant correlation between oral health literacy and knowledge was observed. Further research should include a larger, more diverse patient population. It is important to develop strategies and implement methods which would successfully address the issue of limited oral health literacy among diabetic patients.

Presentation: 16:18