209834 Communicating with Patients: Oral Health Literacy Surveys of Dental Schools and Dental Team Members

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 2:30 PM

Alice M. Horowitz, PhD , Center for Health Literacy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Gary Rozier, DDS , Dept. of Health Policy and Administration, Chapel Hill, NC
Gary D. Podschun , Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations, American Dental Association, Chicago, IL
Bonnie Braun, PhD , Center for Health Literacy, University of Maryland School of Public Health, College Park, MD
Oral health literacy (OHL) remains an emerging field of inquiry for dental education and practice. In response, the American Dental Association's House of Delegates commissioned two surveys to better understand OHL in these contexts. The first study targeted a random probability sample of 6,000 U.S. dental offices, attempting to obtain OHL-related knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors of dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants. Additional surveys were distributed to a random probability sample 1,000 Maryland dental offices. The latter “sub-study” was initiated in response to the death of Deamonte Driver and to further inform efforts in that state to improve access to oral health care. The second study involved an electronic survey, targeting the 57 accredited U.S. dental schools to determine the extent to which OHL is integrated into dental school curricula and clinical training activities.

The results of both studies may have implications for dental and dental public health research, policy and practice. The findings may also further contribute the American Dental Association's five-year strategic action plan to address OHL, including the formation of collaborative relationships with specialty dental organizations, dental schools, other insitutions of higher education and health care organizations.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the development, administration, findings and implications of a survey to determine OHL KABB of dental teams in the U.S. 2. Discuss the rationale and development, implementation, findings and implications of a “sub-study” to determine OHL KABB of dental teams in the State of Maryland 3. Explain the development, administration, findings and implications of a survey of U.S. dental schools and the extent to which OHL and health communication skill building are integrated into dental school curricula.

Keywords: Oral Health, Health Literacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Gary Podschun, manager, Community Outreach and Cultural Competence Provides leadership, management and direction of the Association’s oral health program and policy planning, development, implementation and evaluation related to access to care for targeted vulnerable populations, domestic volunteerism and health promotion/disease prevention. These activities include, but are not necessarily limited to, the American Indian/Alaska Native Dental Placement Program, cultural/linguistic competence in oral health care, oral health literacy and other issues of national significance impacting access to oral health care services. Loyola University Chicago — Chicago, IL Stritch School of Medicine — Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy Master of Arts (Enrolled) — Bioethics and Health Policy San Diego State University — San Diego, CA School of Social Work — Social Administration and Organizational Development Master of Social Work (Advanced Candidate) — Children, Youth and Families Southwestern College — Winfield, KS Natural Science Division Bachelor of Arts — Biology Minor — Chemistry
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
American Dental Association Oral Health Employment (includes retainer)

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.