Impact of caregiver literacy on children’s oral health outcomes Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Miller, Elizabeth Kelly
    • Affiliation: School of Dentistry, Department of Pediatric Dentistry
  • Objective: To examine the relationship of primary caregivers' literacy with children's oral health outcomes. Design: 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. Results: 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). Conclusions: Caregiver literacy is significantly associated with children's dental disease status.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Science in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry in the School of Dentistry."
  • Lee, Jessica Y.
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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