Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123
MIALHE, Fábio Luiz and SILVA, Cristiane Maria da Costa. Health education and their representations among dental students. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, suppl.1, pp.1555-1561. ISSN 1678-4561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232011000700091.
Health education is an important instrument to promote the active participation ofpeople in becoming self-reliant. Thus, the purpose of this exploratory study, conducted using a qualitative approach, was to evaluate the extent of representation in health education, of undergraduates in a dentistry course, and reveal data for discussion about the concepts that have sustained their educational practices. Data were collected by means of an instrument containing the following question: What do you particularly understand by health education? The instrument was applied to 67 academic students in the last year of the course, comprising 85.3% of the target population. Data analysis was performed according to the qualitative methodological presuppositions of Discourse of the Collective Subject. The results showed that the academic students'concept of health education was strongly linked to the positivist concept of teaching,instruction and disease prevention, rooted in the idea that the lack of information by individuals is the factor that induces them not to perform healthy practices with regard to their health, and it was the professional's responsibility to educate people on the subject of health. The need was observed for teaching-learning strategies directed towards changing the academic students' representation in health education.
Keywords : Health education; Higher education in dentistry; Oral health.