Online Program

Oral health promotion among sikh americans in New York and New Jersey

Monday, November 4, 2013

Rucha Kavathe, PhD, Community Empowerment and Education Directorate, UNITED SIKHS, New York, NY
Seema Sidhu, MD, Community Education and Empowerment Directorate, UNITED SIKHS, New York, NY
Jennifer Zanowiak, MA, Department of Population Health, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY
Laura Wyatt, MPH, Department of Population Health, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY
Mary E. Northridge, PhD, MPH, Editor-in-Chief, Epidemiology & Health Promotion, New York University College of Dentistry and APHA (Editor Emeritus, AJPH), New York, NY
Nadia Islam, PhD, Department of Population Health, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY
Literature has shown a prominent link between oral health and chronic disease, and high risk of oral cancer among South Asians. However, very few studies have examined access and barriers to oral health for families in this population. The purpose of this presentation is to describe access and barriers to oral health care among Sikh Americans living in New York and New Jersey. In 2010, a formative study was undertaken wherein 171 Sikh Americans were surveyed to assess demographics, acculturation, and access to oral health care. In 2012, a grant for a family-focused oral health project was sought and received. Tools were designed to screen and survey an additional 150 Sikh Americans, and included an examination of teeth and gums, blood glucose, BMI, access and barriers to healthcare, and oral health knowledge. Formative study data found that 53% of participants had never visited a dentist or received an oral screening examination from a dentist. Of those who had received a dental screening, only 29% had seen a dentist in the last year. Among those participants, 34% had been previously diagnosed with oral problems. The additional round of data collection is ongoing, and will be completed in spring of 2013. Findings will be used to develop a community health worker intervention for oral care in the Sikh community. There is a definite need within this understudied community to address oral health and emphasize its importance in healthy living. Findings from this study will be used to form community specific interventions.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe oral health needs and identify barriers to dental care among South Asians. Discuss how the results from a formative study can be used to plan community-specific oral health interventions focusing on families as the units of delivery.

Keyword(s): Asian Americans, Community Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Project Manager in the Community Education and Empowerment Directorate at UNITED SIKHS, a community based, non-profit organization. I work on community focused chronic disease prevention and oral health promotion in the South Asian community.
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.