Contact person:
Marie Nordström
Responsible at MaU:
Marie Nordström
Collaborators :
  • Ulrika Lindmark - Karlstad university - Sweden
  • Angelique Kearney - Wits university – South Africa
  • Yolanda Malele-Kolisa - Wits university - South Africa
  • Dee Mtyongwe - Central University of Technology - South Africa
  • Daveyrose Ralephenya - Central University of Technology - South Africa
  • Pumla Sodo - Wits university - South Africa
Time frame:
01 June 2019 - 31 December 2023
Research subject:

About the project


The prevalence of caries varies with social class and social deprivation. Despite some improvements in oral health in developing and developed countries, oral diseases are still considered public health problems worldwide.


With a health promotion (Salutogenic) approach, the aim of this project is to probe the reasons behind resilience to dental caries in two low socio-economic areas in South Africa.

Material and methods

This pilot project is aligned with a Swedish study based on a collaboration through the South Africa-Sweden University Forum (SASUF). A mixed-methods was followed where a dental clinical examination was done, inviting individuals with no dental caries for an in-depth interview. Forty participants (18+ years) were recruited from low socio-economic areas in Johannesburg and Mangaung, South Africa. The data analysis plan involves descriptive analysis of the independent variables (age, sex, and marital status, socio-economic status using employment status, social grant, income level). Thematic content analysis will be used to analyze the transcripts from the audio-recorded in-depth interviews.


In line with a Salutogenic approach, the expected results will contribute to a deeper understanding about how resilience could be a healthy resource for no caries experience in low socio-economic areas. Strengthening abilities and assets is an essential part of promoting health and well-being. The study hopes to support the Salutogenic work in dentistry aiming to increase resilience factors as a resource for oral health.