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1.  Scandinavian systems monitoring the oral health in children and adolescents; an evaluation of their quality and utility in the light of modern perspectives of caries management 
BMC Oral Health  2014;14:43.
Recording reliable oral health data is a challenge. The aims were a) to outline different Scandinavian systems of oral health monitoring, b) to evaluate the quality and utility of the collected data in the light of modern concepts of disease management and to suggest improvements.
Material and methods
The information for in this study was related to (a) children and adolescents, (b) oral health data and (c) routines for monitoring such data. This meant information available in the official web sites of the “KOSTRA-data” (Municipality-State-Report) in Norway, the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (“Socialstyrelsen”) and Oral Health Register (the SCOR system, National Board of Health) in Denmark.
A potential for increasing the reliability and validity of the data existed. Routines for monitoring other oral diseases than caries were limited. Compared with the other Scandinavian countries, the data collection system in Denmark appeared more functional and had adopted more modern concepts of disease management than other systems. In the light of modern concepts of caries management, data collected elsewhere had limited utility.
The Scandinavian systems of health reporting had much in common, but some essential differences existed. If the quality of epidemiological data were enhanced, it would be possible to use the data for planning oral health care. Routines and procedures should be improved and updated in accordance with the modern ideas about caries prevention and therapy. For appropriate oral health planning in an organised dental service, reporting of enamel caries is essential.
PMCID: PMC4013538  PMID: 24885243
Oral health reporting; Oral health care; Child; Caries epidemiology and adolescents
2.  Do public health nurses in Norway promote information on oral health? 
BMC Oral Health  2011;11:23.
(i) to describe oral health counselling in Norway to parents with infants and toddlers, ii) to assess existing collaboration and routines in oral health matters between nurses and personnel in the PDS, iii) to evaluate to what extent oral health was integrated in the basic educational curriculum of public health nurses.
This study was based on two separate surveys: the sample of Study I was 98 randomly selected child health clinics. A questionnaire covering oral health promotion counselling of parents with young children was returned by 259 nurses. Study II was a telephone survey addressing teachers of public health nurses at the eight educational institutions in Norway.
The response rate in Study I was 45%. Nutrition (breast feeding, diet) was the health subject most often prioritized in the counselling targeting parents of young children (by 60% of the nurses). Oral health was not among the first priority counselling subjects. The subject was seldom spontaneously mentioned by parents. Seventy percent of respondents reported (agreed or totally agreed) that they managed to provide information parents needed and 72% believed that the information they gave influenced parents' health behaviours. Seven nurses (5.2%) responded that they agreed with the statement that the information they gave only slightly influenced parents' health behaviour. Lack of time was mentioned as being a problem. Approximately half of the nurses (48%) had regular contact with the PDS for the 0-3 year-old children, but only a quarter of the nurses claimed that children's teeth were routinely examined at the child clinics. Some forms of previously established contact with the PDS enhanced the likelihood of nurses' referrals. Oral health was a minor part of the educational curriculum for public health nurses; at three institutions, the subject was totally absent.
Collaboration between nurses and the PDS in Norway could be improved. Oral health should have a bigger place in the basic educational curriculum.
PMCID: PMC3189905  PMID: 21923940
3.  Socio-demographic disparity in oral health among the poor: a cross sectional study of early adolescents in Kilwa district, Tanzania 
BMC Oral Health  2010;10:7.
There is a lack of studies considering social disparity in oral health emanating from adolescents in low-income countries. This study aimed to assess socio-demographic disparities in clinical- and self reported oral health status and a number of oral health behaviors. The extent to which oral health related behaviors might account for socio-demographic disparities in oral health status was also examined.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in Kilwa district in 2008. One thousand seven hundred and forty five schoolchildren completed an interview and a full mouth clinical examination. Caries experience was recorded using WHO criteria, whilst type of treatment need was categorized using the ART approach.
The majority of students were caries free (79.8%) and presented with a low need for dental treatment (89.3%). Compared to their counterparts in opposite groups, rural residents and those from less poor households presented more frequently with caries experience (DMT>0), high need for dental treatment and poor oral hygiene behavior, but were less likely to report poor oral health status. Stepwise logistic regressions revealed that social and behavioral variables varied systematically with caries experience, high need for dental treatment and poor self reported oral health. Socio-demographic disparities in oral health outcomes persisted after adjusting for oral health behaviors.
Socio-demographic disparities in oral health outcomes and oral health behaviors do exist. Socio-demographic disparities in oral health outcomes were marginally accounted for by oral health behaviors. Developing policies and programs targeting both social and individual determinants of oral health should be an urgent public health strategy in Tanzania.
PMCID: PMC2868779  PMID: 20406452
4.  Parental beliefs and attitudes towards child caries prevention: assessing consistency and validity in a longitudinal design 
BMC Oral Health  2008;8:1.
Exploring the stability of self-reports over time in observational studies may give valuable information for the planning of future interventions. The aims of the present study were: 1) to explore the consistency of parental self-reports of oral health habits, beliefs and attitudes towards child oral health care over a two-year period; 2) to evaluate possible differences in item scores and consistency between parents with different immigrant status; and 3) to assess the construct validity of items measuring parental beliefs and attitudes towards child oral health care.
The sample (S1, n = 304) included parents of 3-year-old children in Oslo, Norway; 273 mothers of western origin (WN-group) and 31 of non-western origin (IM-group). They were surveyed in 2002 (child age 3 years) and in 2004 (child age 5 years). Two additional samples of parents were also included; one with 5-year old children in 2002 (S2, n = 382) and one with 3-year-old children in 2004 (S3, n = 427). The questionnaire included items measuring child oral health habits and parental beliefs and attitudes towards child oral health care.
In 2002, 76.8% of the parents reported that they started to brush their child's teeth before the age of 1 year. Eighty-five percent of them reported the same in 2004; 87.0% of the WN-group and 33.3% of the IM-group (P < 0.001). For 17 of 39 items measuring beliefs and attitudes the responses were more positive for the WN-compared to the IM-group. Parents of caries-free children in 2004 reported significantly more positive beliefs and attitudes towards child oral health care in 2002 compared to parents of children with caries in 2004 (P < 0.05, P < 0.01 and P < 0.001). No differences in mean item scores were found between the three samples S1, S2 and S3.
The results showed a fair to good consistency of parental self-reports from 2002 to 2004. They also indicate that parents with different cultural backgrounds should be evaluated separately and in a cultural context.
PMCID: PMC2258292  PMID: 18215270

Results 1-4 (4)