260003 Secondary prevention of disordered eating behaviors: Psychosocial differences between dental and dental hygiene students

Monday, October 29, 2012

Rita DeBate, PhD, MPH, CHES , Center for Transdisciplinary Research on Women's Health, Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Herb Severson, PhD , Deschutes Research, Inc., Senior Research Scientist, Eugene, OR
Deborah Cragun, MS , Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Laura Merrell, MPH, CPH , Department of Community & Family Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Steve Christiansen, BA , InterVision Media, Eugene, OR
Anne Koerber, DDS, PhD , Pediatric Dentistry, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, Chicago, IL
Kelli McCormack Brown, PhD, CHES , Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor, College of Health and Human Performance, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Lisa Tedesco, PhD , Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
William Hendricson, MA, MS , Assistant Dean for Education and Faculty Development, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
Introduction: A long-standing challenge in oral health (OH) education is preparing students to address oral/systemic health issues with their patients. Whether OH providers address signs of disordered eating (DE) behaviors is strongly associated with related knowledge, attitudes and psychosocial factors. To gain broader insights into educational needs, this study sought to determine the extent to which these factors differ among dental (D) and dental hygiene (DH) students. Methods: As part of a larger study evaluating a web-based training program on secondary prevention of eating disorders, a baseline Likert-type questionnaire was completed by 180 DH and 428 D students in 27 OH classes at ten universities across the U.S. Controlling for potential confounding factors, hierarchical linear models were conducted to identify differences between D and DH students in terms of perceived patient-susceptibility to and severity of disordered eating behaviors as well as the following attitudes of professional and legal role responsibilities, and perceived benefits, barriers, and self-efficacy regarding identifying and addressing signs of DE. Results: DH students scored significantly higher than D students in terms of professional and legal role responsibilities (p<.01), perceived benefits (p=.03), and self-efficacy (p<.001). DH students also reported significantly fewer barriers to addressing signs of DE with patients (p=.03). Conclusion: Differences in attitudes toward identifying, communicating with, and treating patients with signs of DE behaviors exist among D and DH students. Research to determine whether differences carry over into practice is warranted.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the role of the oral health care provider in secondary prevention of disordered eating behaviors; Discuss the differences in psychosocial (e.g., role beliefs, barrier and benefits of secondary prevention, self-efficacy, etc.) and behavioral skill associated with secondary prevention of disordered eating behaviors.

Keywords: Professional Preparation, Oral Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I worked as a graduate assistant under close supervision of the PI of the NIH funded study represented by the submitted abstract
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.