Although current oral health care initiatives have proved to be quite successful, a great number of individuals are unaware of how their choice of daily activities compromises their oral health. That is why newer technologies like WhatsApp can definitely serve as a platform to communicate dental advice, thereby strengthening the bridge between health and technology. The objective of the study was to assess the effectiveness of WhatsApp as a tool for providing health education on tobacco and oral cancer as compared to the conventional health education via PowerPoint. The study was a cluster randomized controlled trial, single-center study. The students of 18–24 years of age with WhatsApp application active in their mobile phones were included. Four classes with 182 students were randomly divided into intervention and control groups. Control group received health education on oral cancer using a PowerPoint presentation weekly, for a total of 4 weeks. Intervention group received health education through WhatsApp messaging thrice a week for 4 weeks. Pre- and post-health education knowledge scores were assessed using a questionnaire and compared using unpaired and paired two-sample t tests. Statistically significant increase in knowledge scores was seen in both groups, with highly significant improvement in the intervention group (p value = 0.00). Intergroup comparison showed no significant difference in knowledge scores at baseline, but a significant difference in post intervention knowledge scores (t = -15.05 p<0.001) WhatsApp can be a more effective tool for providing dental education on tobacco and oral cancer as compared to conventional audio-visual aids.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health