265259 Prenatal oral health education in U.S. OB/Gyn residency programs and dental schools

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Judith Savageau, MPH , Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
Megan Weeks, MS-IV , Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
Hugh Silk, MD, MPH , Hahnemann Family Health Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
Background: Pregnant women represent a special population within oral health care. Adverse pregnancy outcomes and increased infant caries can occur when prenatal oral disease is not addressed. Currently, medical and dental clinicians are not meeting the oral health needs of pregnant patients.

Methods: We conducted a national survey of 240 U.S. OB/Gyn residency program directors and 60 U.S. dental school deans. Questions assessed the number of hours of prenatal oral health (POH) education, topics addressed, awareness of guidelines, and barriers to including more POH training.

Results: Most dental schools provide some POH education, with 61% of schools offering 3+ hours. Only 39% of OB/Gyn residencies provide some POH education, most only 1-2 hours. 65% of dental programs and 45% of OB/Gyn residencies are aware of current POH evidence-based guidelines. Those OB/Gyn residency programs with POH training were three times as likely to expose their residents to these guidelines. A similar trend was observed for dental schools. Barriers to POH education include space in the curriculum and competing clinical priorities. 76% of Ob/Gyn directors affirmed the importance of addressing oral health needs among prenatal patients; however, only 23% agreed that the ACGME should add POH competencies.

Conclusions: Less than half of OB/Gyn residencies included POH in their curriculum. Most dental schools included at least three hours. Awareness of and exposure of students/residents to guidelines were associated with more training hours. Those dental and OB/Gyn programs with few or no POH training are less likely to be influenced by a formal policy.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
1. Participants will be able to describe the importance of assessing and addressing oral health needs of prenatal patients. 2. Participants will be able to discuss barriers faced by residency program directors and dental school deans in incorporating more oral health education into their existing curricula. 3. Participants will be able to compare differences between OB/GYN residency training and dental school training in awareness of guidelines for educating trainees/providers about oral health needs of vulnerable populations such as pregnant women.

Keywords: Oral Health Needs, Prenatal Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked closely on this project from inception through the data analysis and writing of the final report; I have also been mentoring the medical student who was instrumental in this project being implemented
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.