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Understanding Multilevel Factors in Prevention of Cavities among Japanese Children

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Item Summary

Title:Understanding Multilevel Factors in Prevention of Cavities among Japanese Children
Authors:Yasuda, Sakiko
Keywords:dental caries
Date Issued:May 2016
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2016]
Abstract:The objective of this dissertation is to understand multilevel factors in prevention of cavities among Japanese children. Oral health is important to general health and quality of life, and cavities cause irreversible negative damage over the life course. This dissertation consists of three studies.
The first study is a systematic review to examine school-based interventions to prevent cavities for elementary school age children in Japan. Of the 13 included studies, 12 tested fluoride mouth-rinsing (FMR) programs. FMR programs appear to be very effective in preventing childhood cavities in Japan, which does not have systemic water fluoridation.
The second study was used quantitative methods to examine factors to explain disparities in cavities among 12-year-old children across Japan’s 47 prefectures. Data by prefecture were culled from public databases and analyzed using SPSS. Three factors--average income per person in the prefecture, percentage of schools in the prefecture with school-based FMR interventions, and average numbers of convenience stores per 100,000 persons—explained almost 50% of national variance in cavities of 12-year-old children in Japan.
The third study was used qualitative methods to examine barriers and facilitating factors for Japanese parents living in Hawai‘i to prevent cavities for their children. Uninsured status, slow adaptation to the U.S. oral health system by Japanese mothers, and Japanese hesitancy to ask questions were found to be the main barriers. Insured status, high cost for insurance and treatment, and the U.S. check-up appointment system were found to be the main facilitating factors.
In conclusion, this dissertation found strong evidence that FMR should be introduced at all schools in Japan as a culturally competent approach to reducing cavities in children. Findings also suggest that municipalities in Hawai‘i need to be aware that short-term residents from Japan have limited knowledge of the U.S. oral health care system. They also have passive attitudes about prevention of cavities in their children due to Japanese policies that provide free annual check-up at schools and low or free treatment. Therefore, policy makers in Japan also need to support programs that teach parents to take more responsibility for preventing cavities in their children.
Description:D.P.H. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: D.P.H. - Public Health

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