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Efficacy of oral health promotion in early childhood

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Item Summary

Title: Efficacy of oral health promotion in early childhood
Authors: Mattheus, Deborah Joyce
Keywords: dental
Issue Date: May 2013
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2013]
Abstract: Dental caries are the most common chronic childhood disease, occurring 5 times more frequently than asthma. One out of every four preschoolers in the United States has tooth decay. The consequences of poor oral health in children extend beyond the development of dental decay and include negative systemic health as well as quality of life outcomes.
Children rely on parents and caregivers to protect them and provide for their most basic needs, including their oral health care needs. A parent's knowledge and beliefs can directly impact the oral health care their children receive at home and their access to professional dental services.
A major limitation to decreasing childhood dental disease includes shortages in pediatric dental services. Integrating dental education and care into primary care practice by nurse practitioners during well child care visits is one alternative that allows for easy access to care for many high risk families.
The purpose of the study was to investigate the impact of oral health promotion visits in a primary care practice on parental oral health beliefs and behaviors for their children ages 6 to 15 months. The specific objectives included determining if changes in parents' oral health beliefs and behaviors for their children would occur based on whether they received standard oral health care during their well child care visits with the addition of two enhanced oral health promotion visits or standard oral health care during their well child care visits without enhanced oral health promotion visits. At the completion of the study participants who received the additional enhanced oral health promotion visits were also asked to describe the quality of their experiences.
One hundred parents or guardians of children who were 6 or 9 months of age, seen at North Florida Pediatrics for primary care, and receiving Medicaid services at time of enrollment entered the study, with a total of 84 of the 100 parents/guardians completing the study. The control group received standard oral care during their routine well child care visits. The intervention group received standard oral care during their well child care visits in addition to two enhanced oral health promotion visits. Both groups completed an early childhood oral health questionnaire at the time of enrollment and again at the completion of the study.
Results of the study revealed significant changes in parent's perception of the importance of oral care for their children's primary teeth compared to general healthcare needs (p<.05), parent's confidence in knowing how to properly brush their children's teeth (p<.05), parent's responses to whether they were brushing their children's teeth (p<.0001), as well as the frequency of tooth brushing for their children (p<.0001) in both the control and intervention groups. There were no significant differences found between the two groups.
This study demonstrates how pediatric nurse practitioners can assist in filling the void that currently exists in providing basic dental healthcare services to high-risk children. This small but significant study also shows that standard oral health programs during well child care visits in pediatric primary care clinics with or without enhanced oral health promotion visits can produce significant changes over time in parent's oral health beliefs and behaviors which are critical to improving oral health outcomes.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2013.
Includes bibliographical references.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/101976
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Nursing
Ph.D. - Nursing



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