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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

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Exploration of brushing behavior among university students in Iran: a qualitative research

Mohtasham Ghaffari
  • Environmental and Occupational Hazards Control Research Center, School of Public Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Sakineh Rakhshanderou
  • Environmental and Occupational Hazards Control Research Center, School of Public Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Ali Ramezankhani / Mehdi Noroozi
  • Social Determinants of Health Research Center, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Bahram Armoon
  • Corresponding author
  • Student Research Committee, School of Public Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2018-01-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0115



Currently, it is estimated that 40% of the Iranian population is less than 20 years old, and in the academic year of 2011–2012 about 4 million students of that age were educated. The general assessment of the outcomes of oral health programs and investigating determinants is substantial for developing future plans of oral health. This study was done with the aim of exploring brushing behavior among university students of Iran to specify and understand the important determinants of oral health behavior.


A qualitative research method was used. This study was conducted between August and November 2016 in Shahid Beheshti University. Maximum variation sampling was used among university attendees and 44 students with more than 2 years of study duration were selected to be included in the research. Semi-structured interviews were employed for data gathering. All of the recorded interviews and notes were accurately evaluated and data analysis was performed based on the content analysis.


As a result of the interview analysis 16 main categories emerged: Religious Beliefs, Perceived Benefits, Perceived Barriers, Habitation, Salience of Behavior, Education, Subjective Norms, Peer Pressure, Observational Learning, Knowledge, Perceived Susceptibility, Perceived Severity, Outcome Expectation, Skills, Perceived Self-efficacy, and Perceived Behavioral Control. Codes of sub-theme and theme were identified in the study.


This present study provides additional evidence with respect to the religious beliefs and the impact of religious instructions in brushing among students. Salience of brushing behavior has been described as one of the structures in an integrated behavioral model. Despite earlier studies suggesting, that peer pressure only plays a role on children’s brushing behavior, our study showed that peer pressure is effective on adults as well.

Keywords: brushing behavior; exploration; Iran; student


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About the article

Received: 2017-07-10

Accepted: 2017-09-10

Published Online: 2018-01-25

Conflict of interests: All authors have no conflicts of interest to be declared.

Funding: This study did not receive any financial support.

Authors contributions: Study design: BA. Interviews and data analysis: MGh and SR. Drafting the manuscript: MGh and BA. Critical revision of the manuscript: AR.

Informed consent: All participants gave their informed consent in writing prior to inclusion in the study. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Compliance with ethical standards: All procedures, including the informed consent process, were conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000.

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20170115, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0115.

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