This cross-sectional study investigated the relationship between self-regulation, proactive coping, procrastination and proactive attitude, perceived oral health and self-reported oral-health behaviours.
The study sample consisted of 198 first year medical students. The questionnaire included information about socio-demographic factors, behavioural variables, self-reported oral health status, proactive coping (proactive coping subscale of the Proactive Coping Inventory), procrastination (Procrastination Scale) and proactive attitude (Proactive Attitude Scale).
Significant differences were found on self-regulation, proactive coping, procrastination and proactive attitude scales between participants who rated their gingival condition as very good/excellent and those who evaluated it as being poor, very poor or normal (p < 0.05). Results revealed significant differences in procrastination level among individuals who never visit their dentist and those who visit their dentist for check-up or for tooth cleaning and scaling (p = 0.001) or when treatment is needed or when in pain (p < 0.05). In multiple linear regression analyses, proactive coping was associated with toothbrushing frequency and reason for dental visiting.
The result suggested that procrastination and proactive coping are important determinants of perceived oral health and self-reported oral-health behaviours.