Objectives: This study aimed to assess pediatricians’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) toward early childhood caries (ECC) in the governorate of Ajdabiya, Libya.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study of a random sample of 50 pediatricians, who work at primary healthcare centers in the governorate of Ajdabiya (in 2021). Data were collected by a self-administered questionnaire that was developed using the KAP study construction guides. Pretests of the questionnaire were performed with five pediatricians, who did not participate in the study. The collected data were analyzed using SPSS for Windows, version 25.0 (SPSS Inc). The alpha value was 0.05.
Results: The overall scores of knowledge ranged from 2 to 12, with a mean of 6.1 (SD, 1.6). For attitudes, the overall scores ranged from 7 to 14, with a mean of 12.1 (SD, 1.5). And the overall scores of practices ranged from 1 to 24, with a mean of 10.0 (SD, 4.7). There were positive correlations between the KAP overall scores. The findings showed weak associations, except between knowledge and practices, it was medium.
Conclusion: Libyan pediatricians demonstrated positive attitudes toward oral health. Nevertheless, their knowledge and practices appeared to be deficient regarding the early dental visits, the cariogenic effect of ad libitum breastfeeding, transmission of cariogenic bacteria from mothers/caregiver to the child, and the role and uses of F in preventive dentistry.
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