Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene


"Purpose: To assess oral health literacy (OHL) of refugees in St. Louis, Missouri and evaluate the effect of an oral health education program on OHL and oral health perceptions. Methods: The three-phase non-experimental quantitative research included a group of 52 refugees : implementation of an oral health education program and a pretest/posttest analysis of two surveys; a Socio-demographic Survey and Oral Health Perceptions of Refugees ; and an Estimate of Oral Health Literacy-Bilingual 40 (EOHL-BL40). Results: Participants scored higher on EOHL-BL40 Posttest 1 with a mean of 28.61 (SE=2.41) versus Pretest with a mean of 15.29 (SE = 1.24). Good retention of information was demonstrated. Though the score of Posttest 2 was lower than that of Posttest 1 with a mean of 25.48 (SE = 2.37) versus 28.61 (SE = 2.41), the score of Posttest 2 was significantly higher than the Pretest. The OHL assessment in native language was significantly higher with a mean of 18.92 (47.31%) compared to English assessment with a mean score of 6.12 (15.29%). Conclusion: Oral health education programs are effective at improving OHL and oral health perceptions of refugees. Bilingual word comprehension is effective at assessing OHL of refugees"--Leaf v.