258925 Oral Health Status, Knowledge and Behavior among Chinese Americans

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Grace X. Ma, PhD , Center for Asian Health, Department of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Yin Tan, MD, MPH , Center for Asian Health, Department of Public Health, Tempel University, Philadelphia, PA
Weidan Cao, PhD student , Center for Asian Health, College of Health Professions, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Philip Siu, MD , Chinatown Medical Services, Philadelphia, PA
Wanzhen Gao, PhD , Center for Asian Health, Department of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Background: There is a lack of national data for the oral health of Asian Americans. Compared with 20% of whites, 29% of Asian Americans report not getting needed dental treatment due to cost.

Objective: The purpose of this pilot survey was to describe the oral health status and explore the barriers to oral health services among underserved Chinese Americans living in Philadelphia.

Methods: The survey used cross-sectional design. Chinese Americans aged 18 and above who visited Chinatown Medical Services clinic (CMS), a community based health center mainly serving low income Asian population, were invited to participate in the survey in July 2011. A total number of 249 participants completed the survey forms including sociodemographic factors, general health and oral health status, dental visits, personal hygiene, as well as knowledge about and attitude toward oral health care.

Results: The mean age (and standard deviation) of the participants was 45 (16) years old. Almost a half of the participants had teeth extracted due to gum disease (47%). Among those knowing their dental status, 71% had at least one tooth decayed, or missing (64%), filled (72%), treated with root canal (42%), and untreated (52%). Findings about factors and barriers affecting oral health behaviors and knowledge will also be reported.

Conclusion: The preliminary data demonstrated the poor oral health status among underserved Chinese Americans. Development and implementation of preventive oral care and community-based cultural appropriate oral health intervention programs are urgently warranted in this population.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Participants will be able to articulate the oral health status and knowledge and behavior among Chinese Americans. 2. Participants will be able to discuss and apply the results of this study to development of intervention strategies that would improve awareness and oral health behavior among Chinese Americans.

Keywords: Oral Health Needs, Public Health Education and Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator of multiple federally funded grants focusing on behavioral health intervention trials, health disparities/transcultural health care for underserved Asian Americans and other ethnic minority populations, cancer prevention and intervention, tobacco control and lung cancer, chronic disease intervention, public health education and community health, health promotion, and global or international health. Among my scientific interests has been the development of strategies of preventing cancer, chronic disease and tobacco control.
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.