J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2014 Mar;38(1):59-67.

Oral health educational contents in primary, middle, and high school textbooks

  • 1Department of Dental Hygiene, Graduate School of Public Health, Gachon University, Incheon, Korea. gshan@gachon.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Dental Hygiene, Kyungdong University, Wonju, Korea.
  • 3Department of Dental Hygiene, Gachon University College of Health Science, Incheon, Korea.


This study was conducted in order to analyze oral health content and its importance in primary, middle, and high school textbooks.
A total of 1,176 textbooks was reviewed, and the items under investigation included: textbook division (national/authorized), titles; grade levels, semesters taught, inclusion of educational content for general and oral health, and the number of pages and rows containing the oral health information. The data were analyzed via paired t-tests, frequency analyses, and one-way ANOVAs.
Oral health content was found in 12.1 percent of the primary school textbooks, 6.5% of the middle school texts, and 2.1% of the high school textbooks. The total average was 5.4%. Among the textbooks containing health (general and oral) content, the average number of pages (P<0.001) containing general and oral health information were 22.1 and 0.5, respectively. The average number of lines (P<0.001) for both types of health information were 475.1 and 6.2, respectively, in the primary school textbooks. Middle school textbooks included average numbers of health information-related pages (P<0.001) of 45.7 and 0.4 and average numbers of lines (P<0.001) of 1,086.9 and 5.3, respectively. The average number of pages (P<0.001) in the high school books containing general and oral health content were 83.0 and 0.9, respectively, and the average number of lines (P<0.001) were 2,128.6 and 10.7. Our research showed that, regarding the degree of reflecting oral health education objectives, high school textbooks gained 1.00 point (1 objective), middle school books obtained 0.67 point (5 objectives), and primary school books received 0.18 point (39 objectives; P<0.05).
Oral health content in textbooks decreased as school level increased. The objectives of oral health education for primary school were not properly reflected in the textbooks because the objectives were relatively diverse, and the textbook treatment of the material was rather static.


Oral health education objectives; Oral health contents; Textbooks
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