Online Program

Qualitative evaluation of the oral health characteristics of disadvantaged, hispanic parents/caregivers

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Patricia A. Braun, MD, MPH, FAAP, Children's Outcomes Research, University of Colorado Anchutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO
Katina Widmer-Racich, MA, Children's Outcomes Research, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO
Lucinda L. Bryant, PhD MSHA, Colorado School of Public Health, Department of Community and Behavioral Health, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO
Nancy Asdigian, PhD, Community and Behavioral Health, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, CO
Jenn A. Leiferman, PhD, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Aurora, CO
Judith Albino, PhD, Center of Native Oral Health Research, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, CO
Background: Early childhood caries, the most common childhood chronic disease, disproportionately affects disadvantaged, Hispanic children. Parent/caregiver oral health knowledge, attitudes and behaviors (OHB) influence caries risk. Objective: Identify attitudes and norms relevant to caries experience and parent/caregiver OHB (e.g., mouth-to-mouth sharing, bed-time bottle, tooth brushing). Design/Methods: Seven (6 in Spanish) qualitative, semi-structured focus groups (FG) conducted with parents/caregivers of children age 3-12 in 2012. Caregivers were recruited by phone from a randomly selected primary care cohort in a large urban safety-net health care system. Topics focused on determinants of OHB (caries knowledge and experiences, attitudes toward caries and preventive OHB, normative influences, strategies for countering pressures toward negative OHB, barriers to/perceived control). FGs were audiotaped, transcribed and thematically categorized. Results: Forty-two primarily Hispanic, poor mothers participated (39% attendance rate). Most possessed knowledge necessary for preventive OHB but reported barriers to implementation. Issues such as inconvenience and child discomfort were frequently associated with lack of preventive OHB. Normative influences included participants' mothers and other female relatives and friends, medical/dental professionals and media. Normative groups had a mixed influence on caregivers' OHB, with family members often discouraging preventive OHB. Having an older child with caries experience motivated caregivers to adopt preventive OHB. Strategies to improve OHB included developing routines, making OHB fun and including normative groups. Conclusions: Caregivers were knowledgeable regarding caries etiology, viewed caries as negative, and were interested in engaging in preventive OHB even if normative groups discouraged these behaviors. Interventions must target caregivers as well as influential groups.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the attitudes and norms of parents/caregivers regarding early childhood caries and their oral health behaviors (e.g., mouth-to-mouth sharing, bed-time bottle, tooth brushing)

Keyword(s): Oral Health, Behavioral Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator and co-investigator on multiple projects funded by the National Center for Dental and Craniofacial Research and Foundations. She conducts her oral health disparity research through the Children's Outcomes Research Program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and practices as a pediatrician at Denver Health and Hospitals.
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.