Teeth Tales: A community-based child oral health promotion trial with migrant families in Australia

Gibbs, L., Waters, E., Christian, B. , Gold, L., Young, D., De Silva, A., Calache, H., Gussy, M., Watt, R., Riggs, E., Tadic, M., Hall, M., Gondal, I., Pradel, V. and Moore, L. (2015) Teeth Tales: A community-based child oral health promotion trial with migrant families in Australia. BMJ Open, 5 (6). ISSN 2044-6055

Full content URL: http://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2014-007321

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


Objectives The Teeth Tales trial aimed to establish a model for child oral health promotion for culturally diverse communities in Australia.

Design An exploratory trial implementing a community-based child oral health promotion intervention for Australian families from migrant backgrounds. Mixed method, longitudinal evaluation.

Setting The intervention was based in Moreland, a culturally diverse locality in Melbourne, Australia.

Participants 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.

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.

Results 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.

Conclusions 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.

Additional Information:cited By 11
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Institute of Health
ID Code:38288
Deposited On:31 Oct 2019 10:15

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