Online Program

Assessment of Changes in Access/Utilization and Oral Health Behaviors Among Children Participating in an Oral Health Project at 12-Month Follow-Up

Monday, November 2, 2015

Juan Chavez, BS, Public Health Program, Touro University California, Vallejo, CA
Annette Aalborg, DrPH, College of Education and Health Sciences, Public Health Program, Touro University California, Vallejo, CA
Gayle Cummings, PsyDc, MPH, Public Health Program, Touro University, Vallejo, CA
Angela Chu, MPH, Public Health Program, Touro University California, Vallejo, CA
The Oral Health Project at Elsa Widenmann School in Vallejo, CA serves low-income families, with children ages 1-18, lacking access to oral health services. This study’s aim is to assess changes in oral health behaviors and access/utilization of oral health services among the children utilizing parental report data. Parents reported on their child’s access to oral health care, insurance status and oral health behaviors. They completed a baseline questionnaire and a one-year follow-up questionnaire (n=100). Participating children received an initial oral health exam, follow-up visits every three months, and oral health education both at the clinic and schools. The sample population is composed of 70% Latinos, 78% of parents are married and have an annual income of $20,000-$29,000. Preliminary results demonstrate that children with reported insurance status increased from 48% at baseline to 63% at one-year follow-up, with 55% being governmental insurance. At baseline, 63% of parents report they had not seen a dentist in more than a year whereas at follow-up only 43% had not seen a dentist in the same time frame. At follow-up, 70% of parents reported that they plan to take their child to the dentist within 6-months, indicating positive behavioral intention. At baseline, 51% of parents report that their child brushed their teeth twice a day, everyday, which significantly increased to 63% at follow-up.  Oral health programs offered as part of school-based health services are an important strategy to address health disparities by increasing access to oral health services for low-income, underinsured children and families.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify an improved oral health behavior for children participating in this study. HE

Keyword(s): Oral Health, School-Based Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualify because I have completed all required MPH courses and as a student researcher working in this project I have: assisted in developing study instruments, enrolling study participants, administering questionnaires, entering and analyzing data. Also participated school-based oral health education and promotion.
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.

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