270439 Relationship between mothers' report of their children's oral health and children's clinical conditions among farmworker families

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 3:30 PM - 3:50 PM

Tracy L. Finlayson, PhD , Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Stuart A. Gansky, MS, DrPH , Center to Address Disparities in Children's Oral Health, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Sara Shain, DrPH , Center to Address Disparities in Children's Oral Health, UCSF School of Dentistry, San Francisco, CA
Jane A. Weintraub, DDS, MPH , Dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, Chapel Hill, NC
Objective: To examine if mothers' perceptions of their children's oral health status were associated with clinically-determined caries status and treatment need among underserved, Hispanic farmworkers.

Methods: Oral health survey and clinical data were collected in 2006-7 from families in Mendota, California (Fresno County) as part of a larger, population-based study (NIH grant #U54DE014251). Mothers and their children (age 0-17, n=387) with at least one tooth were included in this analysis. Outcome variables, based on clinical examination, included a dentist recommendation about each child's need for urgent treatment within 2 weeks and untreated caries status (yes/no). Primary explanatory variables were mothers' perceptions about children's oral health (fair/poor or better) and whether or not the child had cavities (yes/no/don't know). Regression analyses accounting for within-family clustering and sociodemographics were performed.

Results: Preliminary findings indicated that 27% of children had untreated caries and 35% needed dental care urgently. Many mothers (37%) thought their children had cavities; 26% rated their child's oral heath as fair/poor.

Preliminary regression models indicated children were more likely to have caries if mothers thought the child had cavities (Odds Ratio (OR)=2.21, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.17-4.17, p=0.0141) or rated their oral health as fair/poor (OR = 2.38, CI 1.36-4.15, p=0.0024). Children with fair/poor ratings were more likely to need urgent dental care (OR=2.18, CI 1.24-3.81, p=0.0065).

Conclusions: Mothers' oral health perceptions were related to children's clinical outcomes. Children of mothers that believed her child had cavities and had fair/poor oral health were twice as likely to have caries.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the prevalence of dental disease in this child population of Hispanic agricultural workers. 2. Identify which maternal perceptions of children’s oral health are positively associated with children’s clinically determined status in this population.

Keywords: Oral Health Outcomes, Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I'm a health services researcher with expertise in oral health disparities. I have been a researcher with several studies of children's oral health in which I examine how parental and psychosocial factors relate to children's dental outcomes. I conducted the analyses and led the writing for this study.
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.