265957 Understanding motivators and barriers to children's oral health care among low-SES parents and pregnant women

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 12:30 PM - 12:50 PM

Jennifer Messenger Heilbronner, BA , Metropolitan Group, Portland, OR
Sandra Leal, BA, MBA , Customer Innovations, Round Rock, TX
Background/purpose: Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation seeks to eradicate tooth decay among children ages 0-3, focusing on the 20 percent of the population with 80 percent of the cavities. The Foundation wanted to strengthen its public education efforts by better understanding its target audience: low-income pregnant women and parents of young children, including the growing Hispanic population. Methods: Working with Metropolitan Group (MG) and Customer Innovations (CI), the Foundation assessed current oral health promotions, reviewed third-party literature, and interviewed stakeholders on challenges and opportunities in reaching the audience. The team then recruited 48 individuals to participate in in-home interviews in English and Spanish. This 1:1 format allowed an in-depth conversation and also provided insight into how home environment might affect oral health. An independent review board approved the entire process to ensure cultural sensitivity and academic rigor. Results/outcomes: Research results enabled the team to segment the audience into four personae types defined by their level of oral health knowledge and their propensity to learn and adopt new behaviors. The team also built a message frame and public will building strategy based on a closely-held value shared across the population: the power of education to change their children's lives, and the strong perceived connection between oral health, education and future success. Conclusions/implications: The research is informing the Foundation's planning for its next phase intervention, which will be underway by the APHA conference and be included in our presentation. It also provides insight for others working to reach this population.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Articulate motivators and barriers that inform oral health care behaviors Segment audiences based on research to inform engagement and education strategies Analyze research results and apply learnings to messaging and public will building

Keywords: Child Health Promotion, Social Marketing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was a principal investigator for this project and have more than 14 years experience in health communication and health promotion, including research and program implementation on other related issues including prenatal care and chronic disease prevention
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.