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Keywords:

  • health promotion;
  • elderly;
  • emigrants and immigrants;
  • oral hygiene;
  • oral health

Objectives

To evaluate the effect of a theory-based oral health promotion intervention in a community environment by a nondental peer educator on the oral hygiene and gingival health of independent-living Italian older adults.

Design

A quasiexperimental design with a pretest–posttest nonequivalent control group with no intervention.

Setting

Ten Melbourne-based Italian social clubs participated in this evaluation.

Participants

One hundred forty-four active members of the social clubs.

Intervention

A series of oral health seminars and four supervised brushing sessions at club premises. The intervention did not involve any direct oral health professional clinical care. Clubs were allocated to the control or intervention group.

Measurements

Dental plaque levels and gingival bleeding scores were determined. A series of one-way analyses of covariance were conducted using the baseline measures as covariates.

Results

Controlling for pretest scores, the experimental group was significantly more likely than the control group to have improved gingival status and self-efficacy. No significant effects were found regarding dental plaque.

Conclusion

Within the setting of Italian social clubs, the intervention was effective at increasing self-efficacy and reducing gingival bleeding. As such, it represents a useful approach for the design of oral health interventions in older migrant adults.