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1.  The relationship of oral health literacy with oral health-related quality of life in a multi-racial sample of low-income female caregivers 
To investigate the association between oral health literacy (OHL) and oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) and explore the racial differences therein among a low-income community-based group of female WIC participants.
Participants (N = 1,405) enrolled in the Carolina Oral Health Literacy (COHL) study completed the short form of the Oral Health Impact Profile Index (OHIP-14, a measure of OHRQoL) and REALD-30 (a word recognition literacy test). Socio-demographic and self-reported dental attendance data were collected via structured interviews. Severity (cumulative OHIP-14 score) and extent of impact (number of items reported fairly/very often) scores were calculated as measures of OHRQoL. OHL was assessed by the cumulative REALD-30 score. The association of OHL with OHRQoL was examined using descriptive and visual methods, and was quantified using Spearman's rho and zero-inflated negative binomial modeling.
The study group included a substantial number of African Americans (AA = 41%) and American Indians (AI = 20%). The sample majority had a high school education or less and a mean age of 26.6 years. One-third of the participants reported at least one oral health impact. The OHIP-14 mean severity and extent scores were 10.6 [95% confidence limits (CL) = 10.0, 11.2] and 1.35 (95% CL = 1.21, 1.50), respectively. OHL scores were distributed normally with mean (standard deviation, SD) REALD-30 of 15.8 (5.3). OHL was weakly associated with OHRQoL: prevalence rho = -0.14 (95% CL = -0.20, -0.08); extent rho = -0.14 (95% CL = -0.19, -0.09); severity rho = -0.10 (95% CL = -0.16, -0.05). "Low" OHL (defined as < 13 REALD-30 score) was associated with worse OHRQoL, with increases in the prevalence of OHIP-14 impacts ranging from 11% for severity to 34% for extent. The inverse association of OHL with OHIP-14 impacts persisted in multivariate analysis: Problem Rate Ratio (PRR) = 0.91 (95% CL = 0.86, 0.98) for one SD change in OHL. Stratification by race revealed effect-measure modification: Whites--PRR = 1.01 (95% CL = 0.91, 1.11); AA--PRR = 0.86 (95% CL = 0.77, 0.96).
Although the inverse association between OHL and OHRQoL across the entire sample was weak, subjects in the "low" OHL group reported significantly more OHRQoL impacts versus those with higher literacy. Our findings indicate that the association between OHL and OHRQoL may be modified by race.
PMCID: PMC3248838  PMID: 22132898
oral health literacy; oral health-related quality of life; OHIP-14; racial differences; effect measure modification
2.  Oral Health Literacy and Oral Health Status among Adults Attending Dental College Hospital in India 
Low health literacy is one among many reasons why preventable diseases remain so common and why people often do not adopt healthy practices. It is important to detect patients with inadequate oral health literacy (OHL) and to improve the level of communication between the provider and the patient. This study was aimed to determine the relationship between OHL with selected socio-demographic variables and oral health status among adults in Virajpet, Karnataka, India.
Materials and Methods:
A convenience sample of 187 subjects from the out-patient department of Coorg-Institute of Dental Sciences Hospital administered the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Dentistry (REALD-30). The demographic variables and the oral health status were recorded for every participant using World Health Organization oral health survey proforma (1997). Data were analyzed using t-tests, analysis of variance, correlations and Kruskal–Wallis test.
The associations between REALD-30 scores and gender, age, and ethnicity were not statistically significant. Significant associations were found between REALD scores and the following oral-health related variables: Temperomandibular joint problems, prevalence of prosthetic need, CPI (Community Periodontal Index) and loss of attachment scores. REALD-30 scores were negatively correlated with DMFT (Decayed, Missing and Filled Teeth) scores and DAI (Dental Aesthetic Index) scores.
OHL was not associated with sex, age, or ethnicity in this sample of the Virajpet population. OHL was associated with oral health status. Lower OHL was associated with poorer oral health status. OHL instruments can be considered to be included as screening tools to identifying individuals or groups with poor oral health outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4295458  PMID: 25628486
Dental caries; patient-provider communication; rapid estimate of adult literacy in dentistry
3.  A pilot study to assess oral health literacy by comparing a word recognition and comprehension tool 
BMC Oral Health  2014;14:135.
Oral health literacy is important to oral health outcomes. Very little has been established on comparing word recognition to comprehension in oral health literacy especially in older adults. Our goal was to compare methods to measure oral health literacy in older adults by using the Rapid Estimate of Literacy in Dentistry (REALD-30) tool including word recognition and comprehension and by assessing comprehension of a brochure about dry mouth.
75 males and 75 females were recruited from the University of Connecticut Dental practice. Participants were English speakers and at least 50 years of age. They were asked to read the REALD-30 words out loud (word recognition) and then define them (comprehension). Each correctly-pronounced and defined word was scored 1 for total REALD-30 word recognition and REALD-30 comprehension scores of 0–30. Participants then read the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research brochure “Dry Mouth” and answered three questions defining dry mouth, causes and treatment. Participants also completed a survey on dental behavior.
Participants scored higher on REALD-30 word recognition with a mean of 22.98 (SD = 5.1) compared to REALD-30 comprehension with a mean of 16.1 (SD = 4.3). The mean score on the brochure comprehension was 5.1 of a possible total of 7 (SD = 1.6). Pearson correlations demonstrated significant associations among the three measures. Multivariate regression showed that females and those with higher education had significantly higher scores on REALD-30 word-recognition, and dry mouth brochure questions. Being white was significantly related to higher REALD-30 recognition and comprehension scores but not to the scores on the brochure.
This pilot study demonstrates the feasibility of using the REALD-30 and a brochure to assess literacy in a University setting among older adults. Participants had higher scores on the word recognition than on comprehension agreeing with other studies that recognition does not imply understanding.
PMCID: PMC4242487  PMID: 25406963
Older adults; Oral health; Health literacy; Oral health literacy; Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Dentistry-30; Oral health knowledge; Gender; Oral health status; Comprehension; Word recognition
4.  Oral health literacy comparisons between Indigenous Australians and American Indians 
Community dental health  2013;30(1):52-57.
To compare oral health literacy (OHL) levels between two profoundly disadvantaged groups, Indigenous Australians and American Indians, and to explore differences in socio-demographic, dental service utilisation, self-reported oral health indicators, and oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) correlates of OHL among the above.
OHL was measured using REALD-30 among convenience samples of 468 Indigenous Australians (aged 17–72 years, 63% female) and 254 female American Indians (aged 18–57 years). Covariates included socio-demography, dental utilisation, self-reported oral health status (OHS), perceived treatment needs and OHRQoL (prevalence, severity and extent of OHIP-14 ‘impacts’). Descriptive and bivariate methods were used for data presentation and analysis, and between-sample comparisons relied upon empirical contrasts of sample-specific estimates and correlation coefficients.
OHL scores were: Indigenous Australians - 15.0 (95% CL=14.2, 15.8) and American Indians - 13.7 (95% CL=13.1, 14.4). In both populations, OHL strongly correlated with educational attainment, and was lower among participants with infrequent dental attendance and perceived restorative treatment needs. A significant inverse association between OHL and prevalence of OHRQoL impacts was found among American Indians (rho=−0.23; 95% CL=−0.34, −0.12) but not among Indigenous Australians.
Our findings indicate that OHL levels were comparable between the two groups and lower compared to previously reported estimates among diverse populations. Although the patterns of association of OHL with most examined domains of correlates were similar between the two groups, this study found evidence of heterogeneity in the domains of self-reported OHS and OHRQoL.
PMCID: PMC3709981  PMID: 23550508
oral health literacy; oral health; Indigenous populations; Australian Indigenous; Native American; American Indian; quality of life
5.  Measuring oral health literacy: a scoping review of existing tools 
BMC Oral Health  2014;14:148.
This article presents findings from a scoping review of tools used to measure oral health literacy. Internationally, interest in oral health literacy is driven by oral health disparities, particularly for disadvantaged groups, with conditions such as dental caries and periodontal disease contributing substantially to the global burden of disease. The increasing focus on measuring oral health literacy aligns with reasons for measuring broader health literacy, that is, by assessing oral health literacy, decisions can be made about instigating interventions at policy and practice level to improve individual and population level oral health. There are numerous tools available that measure oral health literacy using a range of indicators.
A scoping review was designed to map the existing tools designed to measure oral health literacy (OHL). Key search terms were developed and mapped. Selected databases were used that identified 32 relevant studies reporting a range of OHL tools.
We identified 32 articles that reported a range of oral health literacy tools. Many of the studies used the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Dentistry (REALD) and/or the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Dentistry (ToFHLiD) that were developed from earlier tools designed to measure broader health literacy. These tools have been widely criticised for providing only an approximate measure of OHL based mainly on word recognition. A number of newer tools have included new measures of oral health literacy including numeracy and oral health conceptual knowledge however tools that measure important indicators of oral health literacy such as service navigation are rare.
Findings from this scoping exercise confirm our findings from preliminary scans that the majority of tools are heavily biased towards word recognition, numeracy and reading skills, rather than what this means in terms of health behaviours and service utilisation. More recent developments have attempted to incorporate other aspects considered important, including decision making and service navigation. The incorporation of these aspects into newer tools will provide oral health researchers and policy makers with further evidence of the importance of oral health literacy when designing interventions to improve oral health.
PMCID: PMC4417207  PMID: 25472659
Oral health literacy tools; Oral health; Dental health literacy; Health literacy; Scoping review
6.  Risk indicators for severe impaired oral health among indigenous Australian young adults 
BMC Oral Health  2010;10:1.
Oral health impairment comprises three conceptual domains; pain, appearance and function. This study sought to: (1) estimate the prevalence of severe oral health impairment as assessed by a summary oral health impairment measure, including aspects of dental pain, dissatisfaction with dental appearance and difficulty eating, among a birth cohort of Indigenous Australian young adults (n = 442, age range 16-20 years); (2) compare prevalence according to demographic, socio-economic, behavioural, dental service utilisation and oral health outcome risk indicators; and (3) ascertain the independent contribution of those risk indicators to severe oral health impairment in this population.
Data were from the Aboriginal Birth Cohort (ABC) study, a prospective longitudinal investigation of Aboriginal individuals born 1987-1990 at an Australian regional hospital. Data for this analysis pertained to Wave-3 of the study only. Severe oral health impairment was defined as reported experience of toothache, poor dental appearance and food avoidance in the last 12 months. Logistic regression models were used to evaluate effects of demographic, socio-economic, behavioural, dental service utilisation and clinical oral disease indicators on severe oral health impairment. Effects were quantified as odds ratios (OR).
The percent of participants with severe oral health impairment was 16.3 (95% CI 12.9-19.7). In the multivariate model, severe oral health impairment was associated with untreated dental decay (OR 4.0, 95% CI 1.6-9.6). In addition to that clinical indicator, greater odds of severe oral health impairment were associated with being female (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2-3.6), being aged 19-20 years (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.2-3.6), soft drink consumption every day or a few days a week (OR 2.6, 95% 1.2-5.6) and non-ownership of a toothbrush (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.1-3.4).
Severe oral health impairment was prevalent among this population. The findings suggest that public health strategies that address prevention and treatment of dental disease, self-regulation of soft drink consumption and ownership of oral self-care devices are needed if severe oral health impairment among Indigenous Australian young adults is to be reduced.
PMCID: PMC2827466  PMID: 20102640
7.  Determinants of Oral Health: Does Oral Health Literacy Matter? 
ISRN Dentistry  2013;2013:249591.
Objective. To evaluate oral health literacy, independent of other oral health determinants, as a risk indicator for self-reported oral health. Methods. A cross-sectional population-based survey conducted in Tehran, Iran. Multiple logistic regression analysis served to estimate the predictive effect of oral health literacy on self-reported oral health status (good versus poor) controlling for socioeconomic and demographic factors and tooth-brushing behavior. Results. In all, among 1031 participants (mean age 36.3 (SD 12.9); 51% female), women reported brushing their teeth more frequently (P < 0.001) and scored higher for oral health literacy (mean 10.9 versus 10.2, P < 0.001). In the adjusted model, high age (OR = 1.01, 95% CI 1.003–1.034), low education (OR = 1.88, 95% CI 1.23–2.87), small living area in square meters per person (OR = 1.85, 95% CI 1.003–3.423), poor tooth brushing behavior (OR = 3.35, 95% CI 2.02–5.57), and low oral health literacy scores (OR = 1.58, 95% CI 1.02–2.45) were significant risk indicators for poor self-reported oral health. Conclusions. Low oral health literacy level, independent of education and other socioeconomic determinants, was a predictor for poor self-reported oral health and should be considered a vital determinant of oral health in countries with developing health care systems.
PMCID: PMC3610341  PMID: 23577262
8.  An oral health literacy intervention for Indigenous adults in a rural setting in Australia 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:461.
Indigenous Australians suffer substantially poorer oral health than their non-Indigenous counterparts and new approaches are needed to address these disparities. Previous work in Port Augusta, South Australia, a regional town with a large Indigenous community, revealed associations between low oral health literacy scores and self-reported oral health outcomes. This study aims to determine if implementation of a functional, context-specific oral health literacy intervention improves oral health literacy-related outcomes measured by use of dental services, and assessment of oral health knowledge, oral health self-care and oral health- related self-efficacy.
This is a randomised controlled trial (RCT) that utilises a delayed intervention design. Participants are Indigenous adults, aged 18 years and older, who plan to reside in Port Augusta or a nearby community for the next two years. The intervention group will receive the intervention from the outset of the study while the control group will be offered the intervention 12 months following their enrolment in the study. The intervention consists of a series of five culturally sensitive, oral health education workshops delivered over a 12 month period by Indigenous project officers. Workshops consist of presentations, hands-on activities, interactive displays, group discussions and role plays. The themes addressed in the workshops are underpinned by oral health literacy concepts, and incorporate oral health-related self-efficacy, oral health-related fatalism, oral health knowledge, access to dental care and rights and entitlements as a patient. Data will be collected through a self-report questionnaire at baseline, at 12 months and at 24 months. The primary outcome measure is oral health literacy. Secondary outcome measures include oral health knowledge, oral health self-care, use of dental services, oral health-related self-efficacy and oral health-related fatalism.
This study uses a functional, context-specific oral health literacy intervention to improve oral health literacy-related outcomes amongst rural-dwelling Indigenous adults. Outcomes of this study will have implications for policy and planning by providing evidence for the effectiveness of such interventions as well as provide a model for working with Indigenous communities.
PMCID: PMC3416720  PMID: 22716205
9.  Factors associated with dental attendance among adolescents in Santiago, Chile 
BMC Oral Health  2007;7:4.
Dental treatment needs are commonly unmet among adolescents. It is therefore important to clarify the determinants of poor utilization of dental services among adolescents.
A total of 9,203 Chilean students aged 12–21 years provided information on dental visits, oral health related behavior, perceived oral health status, and socio-demographic determinants. School headmasters provided information on monthly tuition and annual fees. Based on the answers provided, three outcome variables were generated to reflect whether the respondent had visited the dentist during the past year or not; whether the last dental visit was due to symptoms; and whether the responded had ever been to a dentist. Aged adjusted multivariable logistic regression models were used to assess the influence of the covariates gender; oral health related behaviors (self-reported tooth brushing frequency & smoking habits); and measures of social position (annual education expenses; paternal income; and achieved parental education) on each outcome.
Analyses showed that students who had not attended a dentist within the past year were more likely to be male (OR = 1.3); to report infrequent tooth brushing (OR = 1.3); to have a father without income (OR = 1.8); a mother with only primary school education (OR = 1.5); and were also more likely to report a poor oral health status (OR = 2.0), just as they were more likely to attend schools with lower tuition and fees (OR = 1.4). Students who consulted a dentist because of symptoms were more likely to have a father without income (OR = 1.4); to attend schools with low economic entry barriers (OR = 1.4); and they were more likely to report a poor oral health status (OR = 2.9). Students who had never visited a dentist were more likely to report infrequent tooth brushing (OR = 1.9) and to have lower socioeconomic positions independently of the indicator used.
The results demonstrate that socioeconomic and behavioral factors are independently associated with the frequency of and reasons for dental visits in this adolescent population and that self-perceived poor oral health status is strongly associated with infrequent dental visits and symptoms.
PMCID: PMC1853081  PMID: 17425778
10.  Teeth Tales: a community-based child oral health promotion trial with migrant families in Australia 
BMJ Open  2015;5(6):e007321.
The Teeth Tales trial aimed to establish a model for child oral health promotion for culturally diverse communities in Australia.
An exploratory trial implementing a community-based child oral health promotion intervention for Australian families from migrant backgrounds. Mixed method, longitudinal evaluation.
The intervention was based in Moreland, a culturally diverse locality in Melbourne, Australia.
Families with 1–4-year-old children, self-identified as being from Iraqi, Lebanese or Pakistani backgrounds residing in Melbourne. Participants residing close to the intervention site were allocated to intervention.
The intervention was conducted over 5 months and comprised community oral health education sessions led by peer educators and follow-up health messages.
Outcome measures
This paper reports on the intervention impacts, process evaluation and descriptive analysis of health, knowledge and behavioural changes 18 months after baseline data collection.
Significant differences in the Debris Index (OR=0.44 (0.22 to 0.88)) and the Modified Gingival Index (OR=0.34 (0.19 to 0.61)) indicated increased tooth brushing and/or improved toothbrushing technique in the intervention group. An increased proportion of intervention parents, compared to those in the comparison group reported that they had been shown how to brush their child's teeth (OR=2.65 (1.49 to 4.69)). Process evaluation results highlighted the problems with recruitment and retention of the study sample (275 complete case families). The child dental screening encouraged involvement in the study, as did linking attendance with other community/cultural activities.
The Teeth Tales intervention was promising in terms of improving oral hygiene and parent knowledge of tooth brushing technique. Adaptations to delivery of the intervention are required to increase uptake and likely impact. A future cluster randomised controlled trial would provide strongest evidence of effectiveness if appropriate to the community, cultural and economic context.
Trial registration number
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12611000532909).
PMCID: PMC4466605  PMID: 26068509
11.  Reliability and validity of Arabic Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Dentistry (AREALD-30) in Saudi Arabia 
BMC Oral Health  2014;14:120.
To evaluate the reliability and validity of Arabic Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Dentistry (AREALD-30) in Saudi Arabia.
A convenience sample of 200 subjects was approached, of which 177 agreed to participate giving a response rate of 88.5%. Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Dentistry (REALD-99), was translated into Arabic to prepare the longer and shorter versions of Arabic Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Dentistry (AREALD-99 and AREALD-30). Each participant was provided with AREALD-99 which also includes words from AREALD-30. A questionnaire containing socio-behavioral information and Arabic Oral Health Impact Profile (A-OHIP-14) was also administered. Reliability of the AREALD-30 was assessed by re-administering it to 20 subjects after two weeks. Convergent and predictive validity of AREALD-30 was evaluated by its correlations with AREALD-99 and self-perceived oral health status, dental visiting habits and A-OHIP-14 respectively. Discriminant validity was assessed in relation to the educational level while construct validity was evaluated by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).
Reliability of AREALD-30 was excellent with intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.99. It exhibited good convergent and discriminant validity but poor predictive validity. CFA showed presence of two factors and infit mean-square statistics for AREALD-30 were all within the desired range of 0.50 - 2.0 in Rasch analysis.
AREALD-30 showed excellent reliability, good convergent and concurrent validity, but failed to predict the differences between the subjects categorized based on their oral health outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4190341  PMID: 25267119
REALD-30; Arabic; Health Literacy; Dental; Word recognition instrument
12.  Caregivers’ Health Literacy and Their Young Children’s Oral-health–related Expenditures 
Journal of Dental Research  2013;92(7 Suppl):S55-S62.
Caregivers’ health literacy has emerged as an important determinant of young children’s health care and outcomes. We examined the hypothesis that caregivers’ health literacy influences children’s oral-health-care–related expenditures. This was a prospective cohort study of 1,132 child/caregiver dyads (children’s mean age = 19 months), participating in the Carolina Oral Health Literacy Project. Health literacy was measured by the REALD-30 (word recognition based) and NVS (comprehension based) instruments. Follow-up data included child Medicaid claims for CY2008-10. We quantified expenditures using annualized 2010 fee-adjusted Medicaid-paid dollars for oral-health–related visits involving preventive, restorative, and emergency care. We used descriptive, bivariate, and multivariate statistical methods based on generalized gamma models. Mean oral-health–related annual expenditures totaled $203: preventive—$81, restorative—$99, and emergency care—$22. Among children who received services, mean expenditures were: emergency hospital-based—$1282, preventive—$106, and restorative care—$343. Caregivers’ low literacy in the oral health context was associated with a statistically non-significant increase in total expenditures (average annual difference = $40; 95% confidence interval, -32, 111). Nevertheless, with both instruments, emergency dental care expenditures were consistently elevated among children of low-literacy caregivers. These findings provide initial support for health literacy as an important determinant of the meaningful use and cost of oral health care.
PMCID: PMC3706176  PMID: 23690350
cohort studies; dental care; health expenditures; health services; Medicaid; WIC
13.  Ethnic Disparities in Self-Reported Oral Health Status and Access to Care among Older Adults in NYC 
There is a growing burden of oral disease among older adults that is most significantly borne by minorities, the poor, and immigrants. Yet, national attention to oral heath disparities has focused almost exclusively on children, resulting in large gaps in our knowledge about the oral health risks of older adults and their access to care. The projected growth of the minority and immigrant elderly population as a proportion of older adults heightens the urgency of exploring and addressing factors associated with oral health-related disparities. In 2008, the New York City Health Indicators Project (HIP) conducted a survey of a representative sample of 1,870 adults over the age of 60 who attended a random selection of 56 senior centers in New York City. The survey included questions related to oral health status. This study used the HIP database to examine differences in self-reported dental status, dental care utilization, and dental insurance, by race/ethnicity, among community-dwelling older adults. Non-Hispanic White respondents reported better dental health, higher dental care utilization, and higher satisfaction with dental care compared to all other racial/ethnic groups. Among minority older adults, Chinese immigrants were more likely to report poor dental health, were less likely to report dental care utilization and dental insurance, and were less satisfied with their dental care compared to all other racial/ethnic groups. Language fluency was significantly related to access to dental care among Chinese immigrants. Among a diverse community-dwelling population of older adults in New York City, we found significant differences by race/ethnicity in factors related to oral health. Greater attention is needed in enhancing the cultural competency of providers, addressing gaps in oral health literacy, and reducing language barriers that impede access to care.
PMCID: PMC3157507  PMID: 21850607
Oral health; Older adults; Access to care
14.  Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Oral and Dental Healthcare in Pregnant Women 
Oman Medical Journal  2013;28(4):288-291.
Pregnant women are more susceptible to periodontal disease like gingivitis. Periodontal disease may be associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. There is no published literature on dental health in pregnant women in Brunei, Darussalam. The objective of this study was to assess women’s knowledge and attitude towards oral and dental health during pregnancy and to examine their self-care practices in relation to oral and dental health. This study was carried out at the maternal child health clinic, Jubli Perak Sengkurong Health Centre, Brunei, Darussalam.
This was a cross-sectional descriptive and analytical study conducted at the maternal child health center in Brunei, Darussalam. The study group was comprised of 95 pregnant women attending the MCH clinic, Jubli Perak Sengkurong Health Centre, September 2010, using convenience sampling method. A self-administered questionnaire was used, after it was pre-tested and validated. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS version16.
Of the total study group, 97.9% responded to the questionnaire and participated in the study. All the women brushed at least twice daily. However, only 40.9% flossed daily, 31.2% brushed after meals and 26.9% had a dental check-up at least twice a year. The knowledge related to dental care was also poor among the pregnant women. Though the majority of them (96.8%) agreed that women should have a dental check-up during pregnancy, only 55.9% actually practiced this. This raises serious concern since pregnant women may need extra oral and dental care due to susceptibility to gum diseases during pregnancy, which may contribute to low birth weight babies and premature births.
This study highlights important gaps in dental knowledge and practices related to oral and dental healthcare among pregnant women in Brunei, Darussalam. More intense dental health education, including oral health promotion in maternal child health centers can lead to improved oral and dental health, and ultimately pregnancy outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3725248  PMID: 23904926
Attitude; Dental health; Knowledge; Practice; Pregnant women
15.  Oral Health Status of Patients with Mental Disorders in Southwest Ethiopia 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39142.
Psychiatric disorders are known to be a risk factor for the development of different oral health problems especially for dental caries and periodontal diseases. In spite of this fact, no study has been conducted to reveal its magnitude in Ethiopia. Hence, this study was conducted to determine the oral health status of psychiatric patients at Jimma University Specialized Hospital (JUSH), Psychiatric Clinic.
A hospital based cross- sectional study was used from January to May 2011. A total of 240 participants were included in the study. Dental examination was done to measure indices of oral health: decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) index and community periodontal index (CPI). Oral examination was performed using mirror, probe and explorer by experienced dental doctors. A simple random sampling technique was implemented to collect data. ANOVA test, binary logistic and multinomial logistic regression analyses were done using SPSS 16.0 statistical software.
The mean DMFT score among the psychiatric patients was 1.94±2.12 (mean±SD) with 1.28±1.69, 0.51±1.19 and 0.14±0.48 (mean±SD) for decayed, missed and filled teeth respectively. Only about 24% of the psychiatric patients had a healthy CPI score. Incorrect tooth brushing technique was significantly associated with a DMFT score greater than 2 (AOR = 3.58; 95% CI: 1.65, 7.79). The habit of sweet intake was also associated with dental caries (AOR = 2.91; 95% CI: 1.43, 5.95). Similarly, patients with a smoking habit also demonstrated statistically significant association with dental caries (AOR = 18.98; 95% CI: 5.06, 71.24).
The oral health status of the psychiatric patients was poor. Thus, health education about oral hygiene should be given for psychiatric patients so they can avoid the frequent intake of sweets, smoking and learn correct tooth brushing technique.
PMCID: PMC3377615  PMID: 22723950
16.  Impact of Caregiver Literacy on Children's Oral Health Outcomes 
Pediatrics  2010;126(1):107-114.
To examine the relationship of primary caregivers’ literacy with children's oral health outcomes.
We performed a cross-sectional study of children ages six and younger who presented for an initial dental appointment in the teaching clinics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry. Caregiver literacy was measured using the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Dentistry (REALD-30). The outcome measures included oral health knowledge, oral health behaviors, primary caregiver's reports of their child's oral health status, and the clinical oral health status of the child as determined by a clinical exam completed by trained, calibrated examiners.
Among the 106 caregiver/child dyads enrolled, 59% of the children were male, 52% were white, and 86% caregivers were the biological mothers. The bivariate results showed no significant relationships between literacy and oral health knowledge (p=0.16) and behaviors (p=0.24); however, there was an association between literacy and oral health status (p<0.05). The multivariate analysis controlled for race, and income; this analysis revealed a significant relationship between caregiver literacy scores and clinical oral health status as determined using a standardized clinical exam. Caregivers of children with mild to moderate treatment needs were more likely to have higher REALD-30 scores than those with severe treatment needs (OR=1.14; 95%CI 1.05:1.25, p=0.003).
Caregiver literacy is significantly associated with children's dental disease status.
PMCID: PMC2896459  PMID: 20547644
oral health; health literacy; child health outcomes
17.  Development of the Two Stage Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Dentistry (TS-REALD) 
This work proposes a revision of the 30 item Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Dentistry (REALD-30), into a more efficient and easier-to-use two-stage scale. Using a sample of 1,405 individuals (primarily women) enrolled in a Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the present work utilizes principles of item response theory and multi-stage testing to revise the REALD-30 into a two-stage test of oral health literacy, named Two-Stage REALD or TS-REALD, which maximizes score precision at various levels of participant ability. Based on the participant’s score on the 5-item first-stage (i.e., routing test), one of three potential stage-two tests is administered: a 4-item Low Literacy test, a 6-item Average Literacy test, or a 3-item High Literacy test. The reliability of scores for the TS-REALD is greater than .85 for a wide range of ability. The TS-REALD was found to be predictive of perceived impact of oral conditions on well-being, after controlling for educational level, overall health, dental health, and a general health literacy measure. While containing approximately one-third of the items on the original scale, the TS-REALD was found to maintain similar psychometric qualities.
PMCID: PMC3165105  PMID: 21592170
Dental Health Literacy; Dental Care; Oral Health Quality of Life; Health Literacy; Psychometrics
18.  Oral health and social and emotional well-being in a birth cohort of Aboriginal Australian young adults 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:656.
Social and emotional well-being is an important component of overall health. In the Indigenous Australian context, risk indicators of poor social and emotional well-being include social determinants such as poor education, employment, income and housing as well as substance use, racial discrimination and cultural knowledge. This study sought to investigate associations between oral health-related factors and social and emotional well-being in a birth cohort of young Aboriginal adults residing in the northern region of Australia's Northern Territory.
Data were collected on five validated domains of social and emotional well-being: anxiety, resilience, depression, suicide and overall mental health. Independent variables included socio-demographics, dental health behaviour, dental disease experience, oral health-related quality of life, substance use, racial discrimination and cultural knowledge.
After adjusting for other covariates, poor oral health-related items were associated with each of the social and emotional well-being domains. Specifically, anxiety was associated with being female, having one or more decayed teeth and racial discrimination. Resilience was associated with being male, having a job, owning a toothbrush, having one or more filled teeth and knowing a lot about Indigenous culture; while being female, having experienced dental pain in the past year, use of alcohol, use of marijuana and racial discrimination were associated with depression. Suicide was associated with being female, having experience of untreated dental decay and racial discrimination; while being female, having experience of dental disease in one or more teeth, being dissatisfied about dental appearance and racial discrimination were associated with poor mental health.
The results suggest there may be value in including oral health-related initiatives when exploring the role of physical conditions on Indigenous social and emotional well-being.
PMCID: PMC3176220  PMID: 21851641
19.  Oral Health Disparities and Unmet Dental Needs among Preschool Children in Chelsea, MA: Exploring Mechanisms, Defining Solutions 
Significant disparities exist in children’s receipt of preventive dental care (PDC) in the United States. Many of the children at greatest risk of dental disease do not receive timely PDC; when they do receive dental care, it is often more for relief of dental pain. Chelsea is a low-income, diverse Massachusetts community with high rates of untreated childhood caries. There are various dental resources available in Chelsea, yet many children do not access dental care at levels equivalent to their needs.
Using Chelsea as a case-study, to explore factors contributing to forgone PDC (including the age 1 dental visit) in an in-depth way.
We used a qualitative study design that included semi-structured interviews with parents of preschool children residing in Chelsea, and Chelsea-based providers including pediatricians, dentists, a dental hygienist and early childhood care providers. We examined: a) parents’ dental attitudes and oral health cultural beliefs; b) parents’ and providers’ perspectives on facilitators and barriers to PDC, reasons for unmet needs, and proposed solutions to address the problem. We recorded, transcribed and independently coded all interviews. Using rigorous, iterative qualitative data analyses procedures, we identified emergent themes.
Factors perceived to facilitate receipt of PDC included Head-Start oral health policies, strong pediatric primary care/dental linkages, community outreach and advertising, and parents’ own oral health experiences. Most parents and providers perceived there to be an adequate number of accessible dental services and resources in Chelsea, including for Medicaid enrollees. However, several barriers impeded children from receiving timely PDC, the most frequently cited being insurance related problems for children and adults. Other barriers included limited dental services for children <2 years, perceived poor quality of some dental practices, lack of emphasis on prevention-based dental care, poor care-coordination, and insufficient culturally-appropriate care. Important family-level barriers included parental oral health literacy, cultural factors, limited English proficiency and competing priorities. Several solutions were proposed to address identified barriers.
Even in a community with a considerable number of dental resources, various factors may preclude access to these services by preschool-aged children. Opportunities exist to address modifiable factors through strategic oral health policies, community outreach and improved care coordination between physicians, dentists and early childhood care providers.
PMCID: PMC4299657  PMID: 25614878
Children; Preventive dental care; Oral health; Early childhood caries
20.  Oral Health Literacy among Female Caregivers: Impact on the Oral Health Outcomes in Early Childhood 
Journal of dental research  2010;89(12):1395-1400.
The aim of this study was to investigate the association of female caregivers’ oral health literacy with their knowledge, behaviors, and the reported oral health status of their young children. Data on caregivers’ literacy, knowledge, behaviors, and children’s oral health status were used from structured interviews with 1,158 caregiver/child dyads from a low-income population. Literacy was measured using REALD-30. Caregivers’ and children’s median age were 25 years (range=17–65) and 15 months (range=1–59), respectively. The mean literacy score was 15.8 (SD=5.3; range=1–30). Adjusting for age, education, and number of children, low literacy scores (<13 REALD-30) were associated with decreased knowledge (OR=1.86; 95% CI=1.41, 2.45) and poorer reported oral health status (OR=1.44; 95% CI=1.02, 2.05). Lower caregiver literacy was associated with deleterious oral health behaviors including no daily brushing/cleaning and nighttime bottle use. Caregiver oral health literacy has a multidimensional impact on reported oral health outcomes in infants and young children.
PMCID: PMC3123718  PMID: 20924067
oral health literacy; infant oral health; early childhood caries; oral health knowledge; oral health outcomes in young children
21.  Oral Health Literacy among Female Caregivers 
Journal of Dental Research  2010;89(12):1395-1400.
The aim of this study was to investigate the association of female caregivers’ oral health literacy with their knowledge, behaviors, and the reported oral health status of their young children. Data on caregivers’ literacy, knowledge, behaviors, and children’s oral health status were used from structured interviews with 1158 caregiver/child dyads from a low-income population. Literacy was measured with REALD-30. Caregivers’ and children’s median ages were 25 yrs (range = 17-65) and 15 mos (range = 1-59), respectively. The mean literacy score was 15.8 (SD = 5.3; range = 1-30). Adjusted for age, education, and number of children, low literacy scores (< 13 REALD-30) were associated with decreased knowledge (OR = 1.86; 95% CI = 1.41, 2.45) and poorer reported oral health status (OR = 1.44; 95% CI = 1.02, 2.05). Lower caregiver literacy was associated with deleterious oral health behaviors, including nighttime bottle use and no daily brushing/cleaning. Caregiver oral health literacy has a multidimensional impact on reported oral health outcomes in infants and young children.
PMCID: PMC3123718  PMID: 20924067
oral health literacy; infant oral health; early childhood caries; oral health knowledge; oral health outcomes in young children
22.  Impact of tooth loss related to number and position on oral health quality of life among adults 
The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of tooth loss on oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) in adults with emphasis on the number of teeth lost and their relative position in the mouth.
The study population was a cross-sectional household probability sample of 248, representing 149,635 20–64 year-old residents in Piracicaba-SP, Brazil. OHRQoL was measured using the OHIP-14. Socioeconomic, demographic, health literacy, dental services use data and clinical variables were collected. Oral examinations were performed using WHO criteria for caries diagnosis, using the DMFT index; that is, the sum of decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT). An ordinal scale for tooth loss, based on position and number of missing teeth, was the main explanatory variable. The total OHIP score was the outcome for negative binomial regression and OHIP prevalence was the outcome for logistic regression at 5% level. A hierarchical modeling approach was adopted according to conceptual model.
OHIP score was 10.21 (SE 1.16) with 48.1% (n=115) reporting one or more impacts fairly/very often (OHIP prevalence). Significant prevalence rate ratios (PRRs) for OHIP severity were observed for those who had lost up to 12 teeth, including one or more anterior teeth (PRR=1.63, 95%CI 1.06–2.51), those who had lost 13–31 teeth (PRR=2.33, 95%CI 1.49–3.63), and the edentulous (PRR=2.66, 95%CI 1.55–4.57) compared with fully dentate adults. Other significant indicators included those who only sought dental care because of dental pain (PRR=1.67, 95%CI 1.11–2.51) or dental needs (PRR=1.84, 95%CI 1.24–2.71) and having untreated caries (PRR=1.57 95%CI 1.09–2.26). Tooth loss was not significantly associated with OHIP prevalence; instead using dental services due to dental pain (PR=2.43, 95%CI 1.01–5.82), having untreated caries (PR=3.96, 95%CI 1.85–8.51) and low income (PR=2.80, 95%CI 1.26–6.42) were significant risk indicators for reporting OHIP prevalence.
Our analyses showed OHRQoL gradients consistent with the number and position of teeth missing due to oral disease. These findings suggest that the quantity of teeth lost does not necessarily reflect the impact of tooth mortality on OHRQoL and that future studies should take this into consideration.
PMCID: PMC4263115  PMID: 25433483
Adults; Oral health; Quality of life; OHIP14; Regression analysis
23.  Factors associated with oral hygiene practices among adults with systemic sclerosis 
To identify factors associated with oral hygiene practices in adults with systemic sclerosis (SSc)
In this cross-sectional study, 178 dentate adults with SSc received an oral examination which included measurement of oral aperture, assessment of manual dexterity to perform oral hygiene, as well as completion of the Center of Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale, and an oral health-related questionnaire.
Multivariable logistic regression modeling showed male, minority and high CES-D scores (i.e., clinically significant symptoms of depression) were associated with less likelihood of participants brushing teeth at least twice daily, but the presence of self-reported dry mouth symptoms increased the likelihood of toothbrushing. Having a dental visit in the past 12 months, and use of an adapted flossing or interdental cleaning device were significantly associated with daily dental flossing; however, having difficulty flossing teeth reduced the likelihood of daily flossing.
Overall, demographic variables were strongly associated with toothbrushing frequency, whereas, flossing self-efficacy and barriers were strongly associated with dental flossing frequency in adults with SSc. The results suggest that dental health professionals should take mental health into consideration when educating patients with SSc to improve their oral hygiene, and consider making referrals for patients exhibiting suspected clinically significant depressive symptoms to mental health professionals for further evaluation and treatment. In addition, an appropriate adapted flossing or interdental cleaning device should be recommended to increase dental flossing practices in this patient population.
PMCID: PMC3988272  PMID: 24128049
adapted devices; oral hygiene; scleroderma; mental health; epidemiologic methods
24.  Comparison between observed children's tooth brushing habits and those reported by mothers 
BMC Oral Health  2011;11:22.
Information bias can occur in epidemiological studies and compromise scientific outcomes, especially when evaluating information given by a patient regarding their own health. The oral habits of children reported by their mothers are commonly used to evaluate tooth brushing practices and to estimate fluoride intake by children. The aim of the present study was to compare observed tooth-brushing habits of young children using fluoridated toothpaste with those reported by mothers.
A sample of 201 mothers and their children (aged 24-48 months) from Montes Claros, Brazil, took part in a cross-sectional study. At day-care centres, the mothers answered a self-administered questionnaire on their child's tooth-brushing habits. The structured questionnaire had six items with two to three possible answers. An appointment was then made with each mother/child pair at day-care centres. The participants were asked to demonstrate the tooth-brushing practice as usually performed at home. A trained examiner observed and documented the procedure. Observed tooth brushing and that reported by mothers were compared for overall agreement using Cohen's Kappa coefficient and the McNemar test.
Cohen's Kappa values comparing mothers' reports and tooth brushing observed by the examiner ranged from poor-to-good (0.00-0.75). There were statistically significant differences between observed tooth brushing habits and those reported by mothers (p < 0.001). When observed by the examiner, the frequencies of dentifrice dispersed on all bristles (35.9%), children who brushed their teeth alone (33.8%) and those who did not rinse their mouths during brushing (42.0%) were higher than those reported by the mothers (12.1%, 18.9% and 6.5%, respectively; p < 0.001).
In general, there was low agreement between observed tooth brushing and mothers' reports. Moreover, the different methods of estimation resulted in differences in the frequencies of tooth brushing habits, indicative of reporting bias. Data regarding children's tooth-brushing habits as reported by mothers should be considered with caution in epidemiological surveys on fluoridated dentifrice use and the risk of dental fluorosis.
PMCID: PMC3175471  PMID: 21888664
25.  Oral healthcare of preschool children in Trinidad: a qualitative study of parents and caregivers 
BMC Oral Health  2012;12:27.
Little is known about oral health in early childhood in the West Indies or the views and experiences of caregivers about preventive oral care and dental attendance The aims of this study were to explore and understand parents and caregivers’ experience of oral healthcare for their preschool aged children and how, within their own social context, this may have shaped their oral health attitudes and behaviours. These data can be used to inform oral health promotion strategies for this age group.
After ethical approval, a qualitative study was undertaken using a focus group approach with a purposive sample of parents and caregivers of preschool children in central Trinidad.
Group discussions were initiated by use of a topic guide. Audio recording and field notes from the three focus groups, with a total of 18 participants, were transcribed and analysed using a thematic approach.
Despite some ambivalence toward the importance of the primary teeth, the role of fluoride and confusion about when to take a child for their first dental visit, most participants understood the need to ensure good oral hygiene and dietary habits for their child. Problems expressed included, overcoming their own negative experiences of dentistry, which along with finding affordable and suitable dental clinics, affected their attitude to taking their child for a dental visit. There was difficulty in establishing good brushing routines and controlling sweet snacking in the face of many other responsibilities at home. Lack of availability of paediatric dental services locally and information on oral health care were also highlighted. Many expressed a need for more contact with dental professionals in non-clinic settings, for oral health care advice and guidance.
Parents and caregivers in this qualitative study showed generally positive attitudes towards oral health but appear to have encountered several barriers and challenges to achieving ideal preventive care for their child, with respect to healthy diet, good oral hygiene and dental attendance. Oral health promotion should include effective dissemination of oral health information, more practical health advice and greater access to dental care for families with preschool children.
PMCID: PMC3567990  PMID: 22862892
Preschool children; Oral health; Parents; Caregivers; Qualitative; Focus groups; West Indies

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