Date of Award

Spring 5-2-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Alicia K. Ribar, PhD, CNP

First Committee Member

Professor Mary McKelvey, Phd

Second Committee Member

Andrew Mesaros, Jr., DDS


Oral health, College students, African American, Oral hygiene, Oral health knowledge

Subject Categories

Family Practice Nursing | Medicine and Health Sciences | Other Nursing | Public Health and Community Nursing | Public Health Education and Promotion


Objective. The primary aim was to assess African American college student's knowledge of oral health and healthcare access.

Methods. The project was a quantitative descriptive study using a pre and posttest design. A pre questionnaire containing items regarding oral hygiene and oral health based on the recommendations of the American Dental Association (ADA) as well as questions about access to oral healthcare was distributed to African American college students to measure their knowledge. A demographic questionnaire was distributed. Students participated in a 20-30 minute oral health educational program. A post-test was given 4-6 weeks after the initial pre-test.

Results. 24 students completed the pretest questionnaire and attended the health educational session. 41% (10) of the 24 completed the posttest questionnaire 4-6 weeks following the intervention by electronic survey. Students completing the pre-intervention questionnaire answered 6 of the 10 questions pertaining to oral health with a passing grade of 60% or higher. Answers of 'don't know' were recorded on 50% of the questions. Thirty-eight percent of the participants knew where to go if they needed to be seen by a dentist and 67% had transportation. Student’s oral health knowledge improved following the intervention. I had ten questions; seven showed an increase in score, two a decrease in score and one showed no change.

Conclusion. An oral health program targeting African American college students at a Midwest college can increase their oral health knowledge which will hopefully lead to improved oral health behavior leading to better oral health.



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