Oral health literacy strategies focused on community-based learning

N. Veiga*, A. C. Moura, P. Correia, P. Couto, R. Pereira, P. Lopes, M. J. Correia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Oral health literacy relates to the capacity of individuals to acquire, understand and to act upon oral health information to make appropriate health decisions. The objective of this work is to present the strategies under development in the community, focusing interventions of oral health literacy by the application of community-based learning models in the central region of Portugal. Methods: At the Faculty of Dental Medicine of the Universidade Cato´lica Portuguesa (Viseu, Portugal), various community oral health projects have been developed focusing on oral health literacy promotion among the most vulnerable population, with the goal of achieving acceptable levels of empowerment towards adequate oral health behaviors. One of the main strategies consists in the application of the Service-Learning methodology that has allowed the identification of community needs and the active participation of dental medicine students in community interventions and scientific research in oral health. Results: Innovative oral health community strategies should be performed to improve oral health literacy within the most vulnerable risk groups of society, specifically oriented to a community-based learning model. Service-Learning is an educational approach where the student learns specific soft skills, collaborating directly with a social institution and society ‘‘outdoors’’ and engages in reflection activities to deepen their understanding of what is being taught. Conclusions: One of the main strategies to incorporate the health professional in social responsibility and direct contact in community is by experiencing Service-Learning programs during their training phase. It is important to highlight that health-related degrees´ curriculum should favor community based learning as a successful and engaging learning model that addresses both professionalism and humanism. Key messages: Community-based learning projects can be developed in order to work with and for the community contributing, simultaneously, for the development of soft-skills among future oral health professionals. Public health strategies should be performed to improve oral health literacy within the most vulnerable risk groups of society, specifically oriented to a community-based learning model.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberckad160.777
Number of pages1
JournalEuropean journal of public health
Volume33
Issue numberS2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023
Event16th European Public Health Conference 2023 Our Food, Our Health, Our Earth: A Sustainable Future for Humanity - Convention Centre Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 8 Nov 202311 Nov 2023

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