230550 ORAL HEALTH of Latino and Ethiopian YOUNG CHILDREN and THEIR Mothers

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Olivia Carter-Pokras, PhD , Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of Maryland, Silver Spring, MD
Clemencia Vargas, DDS, PhD, MPH , Health Services Research, Baltimore College of Dentistry, University of Maryland, Columbia, MD
Lu Chen , Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Maryland School of Public Health, College Park, MD
Maria Ivonne Rivera , Rivera Associates, Washington, DC
Background: Dental caries is the most prevalent infectious disease among children and is more prevalent among socially underprivileged groups.

Purpose: This qualitative study aims to identify knowledge, attitudes and behaviors relating to oral health among mothers who are main caregivers of 0-5 year old Latino and Ethiopian children.

Methods: Two focus groups of Latino (n=24) and two of Ethiopian mothers (n=14) of 0-5 year old children were conducted in Washington D.C. in 2009 as part of a community based participatory project with Mary's Center for Maternal and Child Care, Inc. Focus group discussions were audiotaped, transcribed, translated into English, and analyzed using QSR NVivo.

Results: Latino and Ethiopian mothers shared positive attitudes towards oral health: they ranked oral health as a high priority and disagreed with “all kids will eventually get caries”. Most participants were advised by pediatricians to take their children to the dentist. Mothers did not have knowledge about caries etiology, fluoride, and dental sealants, and were unclear about when to start cleaning children's mouth and bottle use for children. Latino mothers were more likely than Ethiopian mothers to identify links between oral health and medical problems or social consequences. Latino mothers were also more likely to indicate that children's poor oral was the parents' responsibility. Ethiopian mothers indicated less utilization of dental services.

Conclusion: Latino and Ethiopian mothers shared similarities in limited knowledge but positive attitudes on oral health, while differences exist between the two groups in utilization and cultural beliefs of oral health.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
To understand barriers and facilitators of oral health practice of Latino and African immigrants. To provide public health implications on improving oral health services targeting low-income immigrants

Keywords: Immigrants, Oral Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: PI for study
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.