Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Assessment of periodontal knowledge following a mass media oral health promotion campaign: a population-based study

Mahdia Gholami12, Afsaneh Pakdaman1*, Ali Montazeri3, Ahmad Jafari1 and Jorma I Virtanen45

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Community Oral Health, School of Dentistry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 1439955991 Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Oral Public Health, Institute of Dentistry, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

3 Mental Health Research Group, Health Metrics Research Centre, Iranian Institute for Health Sciences Research, ACECR, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Community Dentistry, Institute of Dentistry, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland

5 Oral and Maxillofacial Department, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland

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BMC Oral Health 2014, 14:31  doi:10.1186/1472-6831-14-31

Published: 5 April 2014



Oral health promotion can be achieved through education using various approaches including mass media health education campaigns. Mass media campaigns might increase oral health knowledge and perhaps could lead to desired behaviour changes and prevention of oral diseases. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of a national television campaign on knowledge of periodontal health among Iranian adults.


We conducted a population-based survey among adults aged 18–50 using a stratified multistage sampling method in the 22 districts of Tehran, Iran, in 2011. All participants were interviewed at two points in time: baseline (before launching the campaign) and follow-up assessment (after the campaign was finished) by using a validated instrument. The campaign included an animation clip about periodontal health and disease that was telecasted for ten days from several national TV channels. The instrument included items related to aetiology and sign of gum disease. Periodontal knowledge score and its change were calculated for each participant and were evaluated using statistical analyses in order to examine the effect of the campaign.


In all 791 individuals (mean age: 32.6 years) were interviewed at baseline. Of these, 543 individuals were followed one month after the campaign. However, only 163 out of 543 reported that they had seen the campaign. Thus, comparison was made between those who had seen the campaign and who did not. The knowledge scores improved significantly among those who saw the campaign compared to those who did not (the mean knowledge score improvement 0.61 ± 0.96 versus 0.29 ± 0.8 respectively, p < 0.001). The results obtained from multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that improvement in periodontal knowledge was significantly associated with exposure to the campaign (OR = 2.20, 95% CI = 1.37-3.54), female gender (OR = 1.59, 95% CI = 1.05-2.43), being in age group 25–34 (OR = 1.76, 95% CI = 1.00-3.08), having higher education (high school: OR = 2.34, 95% CI = 1.23-4.43; university: OR = 3.33, 95% CI = 1.66-6.64), and baseline knowledge (OR = 0.25, 95% CI = 0.17-0.36).


The study demonstrated a significant impact of the mass media campaign on Iranian adults’ knowledge regarding periodontal health and disease.

Periodontal disease; Mass media campaign; Oral health promotion