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Date of Award

Spring 2021


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Document Type

Thesis: EWU Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene


Purpose: E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular among active-duty military personnel who perceive vaping as less harmful compared to traditional cigarette smoking. Research supports the value of mouth self-examination in detecting oral lesions and seeking professional medical help in the early stages. This study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational intervention based on a health belief model to promote mouth self-examination among active-duty military personnel who had ever used e-cigarettes.

Methods: A mixed-method approach with a single-group pre- and posttest design was utilized. Participants completed a pretest survey, watched a prerecorded educational intervention, and completed an immediate posttest. The posttest survey included the same survey items as the pretest, as well as open-ended questions. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, paired t-test, Wilcoxon signed-rank test, and thematic coding.

Results: Comparison of pre- and posttest demonstrated participants (N = 28) were more aware of risk factors for developing oral cancer, the benefits of mouth self-examination, and learned the mouth self-examination technique (p < 0.05). Based on the qualitative data, nine participants (n = 9) stated they would change their behavior, for example, perform mouth self-examination frequently or quit smoking.

Conclusion: An educational intervention developed based on the health belief model is an effective method to promote mouth self-examination among active-duty military personnel.