237503 Investigation of oral health knowledge, past oral health behaviors, and barriers to preventive oral care of Head Start parents

Monday, October 31, 2011

Adam Knowlden, CHES, MBA, MS , Health Promotion & Education Program, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Lawrence Hill, DDS, MPH , Executive Director, CincySmiles Foundation, Cincinnati, OH
Monica Alles-White, MS, RD, LD , Early Childhood Oral Health Coordinator, CincySmiles Foundation, Cincinnati, OH
Randall Cottrell, DEd, MCHES , College of Education Criminal Justice, and Human Sevices, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Background: Dental caries remains the most common chronic disease of childhood. Local community agencies continue to seek strategies that will mitigate the impact of dental caries in their respective communities. The CincySmiles Foundation developed an instrument to investigate Head Start parents' knowledge of oral health care practices and to identify the barriers Head Start parents face when seeking dental treatment for their children. A collaborative community organization-university partnership was formed to assess the results of the instrument. Methods: A cross-sectional survey design was utilized in this study. Data from 675 Head Start parents across three counties in Cincinnati, Ohio were collected by the community agency and analyzed by a team of university researchers. The questionnaire elicited information about oral health care practices from the participants. Results: Findings from the parental oral health knowledge scale indicated oral health educational programs would benefit the Head Start population. Barriers to oral health care adherence of the target population were identified with lack of dental insurance emerging as the primary barrier. Statistical analyses found significant relationships between current frequency of the parents' dental appointments and dentists' refusal to examine a child less than three years old (X2(2) = 6.202, p = 0.045). ANOVA tests examining barriers found statistically significant differences between the three counties under investigation (F(2, 668) = 4.896, p = .008). Conclusions: Public health educators have an integral role to play in reducing the risk factors associated with dental caries. Implications of findings and recommendations for future research are discussed.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1.Discuss the importance of oral health among Head Start parents. 2.Describe the process of developing an instrument for assessing the oral health knowledge, past oral health behaviors, and barriers to preventive oral care of Head Start parents. 3.Design an oral health education intervention for Head Start parents.

Keywords: Oral Health, Public Health Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted the literature review, assessed the instrument, and analyzed the data.
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.