270990 Parental acceptance of dental office-based childhood obesity prevention counseling

Monday, October 29, 2012

Raymond Tseng, DDS, PhD , Department of Pediatric Dentistry, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Tina Tseng, PhD, MSPH , Department of Public Health-College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC
Wesley Rich, PhD , Department of Public Health-College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC
Overweight or obesity (ow/ob) is a significant public health concern for children and adolescents. Traditionally, physicians have been charged with diagnosis and treatment of these conditions. However, a review of 2388 well-child visits from the 2005-2009 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey databases shows only 37% of well-child visits involved obesity prevention health education (OPHE). For obese children, OPHE occurred at 41% of well-child visits. Dentists may aid physicians in screening, diagnosing, and addressing this problem through basic health education. This study assessed parental attitudes and acceptance of counseling aimed at addressing ow/ob in the dental office, and explored possible goals for parents to engage in.

Caregivers of children were surveyed in pediatric dental clinics in central North Carolina. Survey items assessed parental comfort level and attitudes towards medical and dental healthcare providers discussing ow/ob, and perceived difficulty of sustaining ow/ob-associated lifestyle changes for 6 months. Bivariate analysis and logistic regression were performed to identify significant associations.

Physicians discussed BMI percentile at only 30% of well-child visits. 63.4% of parents reported dental-office based OPHE was appropriate. Private insurance, college education, Hispanic ethnicity, and believing “children would not outgrow obesity” were significantly associated with acceptance of counseling. Preliminary data showed that daily breakfast and consuming fruits/vegetables were easy goals for parents to consistently implement for up to 6 months.

Parents believe OPHE in the dental office is appropriate, and are comfortable engaging in such discussions. This study provides a starting point for promoting lifestyle changes to address ow/ob in the dental office.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Other professions or practice related to public health
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Identify parent or caregiver characteristics that would be receptive to obesity counseling in the dental office. Identify basic goals parents/caregivers who are interested in implementing obesity prevention-related lifestyle changes for their children.

Keywords: Obesity, Children and Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator on several federally funded, and privately funded research training grants focused on the role of the pediatric dentist in addressing childhood overweight and obesity. Among my scientific interests are the immunological and inflammatory consequences of childhood obesity in pre-school aged children, as well as dental clinical practices that aid in screening for, indentifying, and treating the incidence and symptoms of childhood obesity in pediatric populations.
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.