Perceptions and Practice of Online Health Education Programs among Postgraduate Students of Public Health Dentistry in India
Introduction: Information technology has developed very rapidly in a short span and touched almost every aspect of social life thereby expanding and altering economic and social activities all over the world.1 Information technology is being used in various aspects of health informatics from telemedicine to robot-assisted surgery. Tech-infused methods are integrated into the healthcare experience to enhance two key areas: accessibility and efficacy. It also has the potential to trim the burgeoning cost of the traditional healthcare scenario.2
Aims and Objectives: To evaluate the perception and practice of postgraduate dental students in facilitating online health education using a self-administered questionnaire.
Materials and Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted using an 18-item self-administered online questionnaire among postgraduate students of public health dentistry across India. A total of 312 subjects responded. Only completed questionnaires were included in the study. The first part of the questionnaire included demographic details like name, gender, age, and college of the study subjects and the second part consisted of 18 closed-ended questions assessing the perception and practice of virtual health education among postgraduate students of Public Health Dentistry.
Results: Among the 312 study subjects who participated in the study, 62.5% were females and 37.5% were males. 95.2% of the study subjects were aware of the term dental informatics (p-value- 0.037). Among the study subjects, 26.2% strongly agreed and 64.4% agreed that informatics and technology is a useful alternative tools that can be used to provide health education (p-value-0.028). In the present study, 37.8% of the respondents use Zoom Cloud Meetings. 4.5% use Microsoft team, 9.3% use Google Meet, 20.2% of them use both Zoom Cloud Meetings and Google meet, 4.2% use all three (Zoom Cloud Meetings, Microsoft team, and Google Meet), 1.9% and 2.6% of them used other apps like Cisco Webex respectively (p-value-0.012). Among the respondents, 50.3% of them have provided online health education using audio-visual aid as the mode of presentation (p-value – 0.023).
Conclusion: Online health education programs have enabled the continuation of health education during these unprecedented times. According to the perception of post-graduates, online health education is effective and feasible compared to the conventional method of health education. The evaluation results revealed the usability of this system. This is a conspectus demonstration of perceptions and practice of online health education programs carried out by dental students.
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