Objectives: This study aimed to develop and validate a new instrument based on the health belief model and to use the instrument to investigate the determinants of regular dental attendance among primary schoolchildren. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using a newly developed measurement scale based on the HBM, 4 health-promoting schools participated in the study and 958 students studying in grades 4–6 completed the questionnaire. The psychometric properties of the instrument were analysed, and a path analysis model was used to identify the determinants of regular dental attendance. Results: The instrument had good internal consistency (Cronbach's α = 0.826–0.925) and a factor structure identical to HBM. Overall, the schoolchildren's health beliefs on caries treatment were positive. The determinants of regular dental visit were school location (β = −0.13), mother's education level (β = 0.15), susceptibility (β = −0.18) and barriers (β = −0.11). Conclusion: This study provided evidence that HBM is applicable to children's dental visiting behaviour and their health beliefs towards adherence to caries treatment. Although children had a positive attitude towards dental visits, environmental obstacles would interfere with dental visits. The newly developed instrument could be used to identify high-risk children and help design oral health interventions for these children. Moreover, policy makers should increase the accessibility of dental resources to enhance the utilization of dental care among schoolchildren.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Dentistry (miscellaneous)