Aims: Apart from oral hygiene instructions continual motivation and manual dexterity may also be fundamentally required in case of disability. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of a guided manual tooth brushing program on oral hygiene status of visually impaired individuals after one month.
Methods: Parallel design single blind randomized controlled trial was conducted at Dr. Panjwani School Complex for the Blind, Karachi in collaboration with Ida Rieu Welfare Association. According to American Dental Association Guidelines 25 participants with visual impairments were required in each trial arm. Baseline data regarding oral hygiene practices and oral hygiene status using Oral Hygiene Index (OHI) was collected and participants were randomly assigned to test and control groups. Test group participants were intervened with guided tooth brushing program and controls with verbal oral hygiene message. Both were followed for 30 days. Data was managed using Stata version 11.0. Paired ttest was applied to compare between and within group mean differences in pre and post-trial oral hygiene index scores at p<0.05 with 95% confidence interval.
Results: Mean oral hygiene index score only within test group participants was reduced after 30 days trial with mean difference of -1.57 (95% CI, -2.087 to -1.071), t (24)=6.415, p<0.0001.
Conclusion: This study showed that guided manual brushing technique is effective in improving oral hygiene status of visually impaired individuals.