Advertisement

Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 18, Issue 7, pp 1765–1771 | Cite as

Impact of a Web-Based Intervention on Maternal Caries Transmission and Prevention Knowledge, and Oral Health Attitudes

  • David Albert
  • Sharifa Z. Barracks
  • Emilie Bruzelius
  • Angela Ward
Article

Abstract

Poor oral health knowledge is thought to significantly contribute to the incidence of early childhood caries, the most common childhood disease in the U.S. This study assessed the effectiveness of a web-based educational program in increasing oral health and caries transmission knowledge, attitudes and planned behavior among mothers and primary caregivers. Study participants were recruited from subscribers to an online health information newsletter distributed by a national dental insurance company and from visitors to a health information website sponsored by the same company. Participants completed pre- and post-intervention surveys and viewed a brief educational program. Results were analyzed for pre- to post-test changes in knowledge and attitudes. Planned behavior change was also assessed. 459 participants completed pre-and post-test surveys. The sample was typically more insured (91.3 %), and college educated (76.9 %), than the general population. At baseline, respondents were knowledgeable about caries and its prevention; however, their specific knowledge about caries transmission was limited. There was a significant increase in caries knowledge from baseline to follow-up, particularly regarding caries transmission. At baseline less than half of the participants (48.8 %) knew that mothers/primary caregivers play a large role in passing cavity causing germs to children and 43.1 % knew that there is a defined period of time when the risk of transmission of cariogenic bacteria is greatest; however in post-testing 99.6 % and 98.3 % answered these question correctly respectively (p < 0.001). Results indicate that a web-delivered oral health intervention can increase dental knowledge and increase participants’ plans to prevent maternal caries transmission. The provision of web-delivered education to primary caregivers can be an effective and low cost strategy for promoting maternal and infant oral health.

Keywords

Early childhood caries Maternal oral health Web-based intervention 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank Yesenia Rodriguez for development and programming of the Building Healthy Smiles for Your Baby website. This research was funded by grants from the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) and Aetna Dental.

References

  1. 1.
    Iida, H., Auinger, P., Billings, R. J., et al. (2007). Association between infant breastfeeding and early childhood caries in the United States. Pediatrics, 120(4), e944–e952. doi: 10.1542/peds.2006-0124.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Edelstein, B. L., Chinn, C. H., & Laughlin, R. L. (2009). Early childhood caries: Definition and epidemiology. In J. H. Berg & R. L. Slayton (Eds.), Early childhood oral health. Ames, IA: Wiley Blackwell.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Filstrup, S. L., Briskie, D., da Fonseca, M., et al. (2003). Early childhood caries and quality of life: Child and parent perspectives. Pediatric Dentistry, 25(5), 431–440.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Blumenshine, S. L., Vann, W. F., Jr, Gizlice, Z., et al. (2008). Children’s school performance: Impact of general and oral health. Journal of Public Health Dentistry, 68(2), 82–87. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-7325.2007.00062.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hirsch, G. B., Edelstein, B. L., Frosh, M., et al. (2012). A simulation model for designing effective interventions in early childhood caries. Preventing Chronic Disease, 9, E66.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Vargas, C. M., Dye, B. A., & Hayes, K. L. (2002). Oral health status of rural adults in the United States. Journal of the American Dental Association, 133(12), 1672–1681.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Edelstein, B. L. (2002). Dental care considerations for young children. Special care in dentistry: Official publication of the American Association of Hospital Dentists, the Academy of Dentistry for the Handicapped, and the American Society for Geriatric Dentistry, 22(3 Suppl):11S–25S.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Definition of early childhood caries (ECC). Originating Council, Council on Clinical Affairs. Adopted 2003; Revised 2007, 2008. http://www.aapd.org/media/Policies_Guidelines/D_ECC.pdf. Accessed 18 Dec 2013.
  9. 9.
    Berkowitz, R. J. (2003). Causes, treatment and prevention of early childhood caries: A microbiologic perspective. Journal-Canadian Dental Association, 69(5), 304–307.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ramos-Gomez, F. J., Weintraub, J. A., Gansky, S. A., et al. (2002). Bacterial, behavioral and environmental factors associated with early childhood caries. The Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry, 26(2), 165–173.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Caufield, P. W., Cutter, G. R., & Dasanayake, A. P. (1993). Initial acquisition of mutans streptococci by infants: Evidence for a discrete window of infectivity. Journal of Dental Research, 72(1), 37–45.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Policy on early childhood caries (ECC). (2008). Classifications, consequences, and preventive strategies. Pediatric Dentistry, 30(7 suppl), 40–43.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Berkowitz, R. J., Amante, A., Kopycka-Kedzierawski, D. T., et al. (2011). Dental caries recurrence following clinical treatment for severe early childhood caries. Pediatric Dentistry, 33(7), 510–514.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    American Dental Association. Mouth Healthy: Babies and Kids. 2013. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/babies-and-kids/. 2013.
  15. 15.
    Hale, K. J. (2003). Oral health risk assessment timing and establishment of the dental home. Pediatrics, 111(5 Pt 1), 1113–1116.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bubna, S., Perez-Spiess, S., Cernigliaro, J., et al. (2012). Infant oral health care: Beliefs and practices of american academy of pediatric dentistry members. Pediatric Dentistry, 34(3), 203–209.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Sakai, V. T., Oliveira, T. M., Silva, T. C., et al. (2008). Knowledge and attitude of parents or caretakers regarding transmissibility of caries disease. Journal of Applied Oral Science, 16(2), 150–154. Revista FOB.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gussy, M. G., Waters, E. B., Riggs, E. M., et al. (2008). Parental knowledge, beliefs and behaviours for oral health of toddlers residing in rural Victoria. Australian Dental Journal, 53(1), 52–60. doi: 10.1111/j.1834-7819.2007.00010.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Boggess, K. A., Urlaub, D. M., Moos, M. K., et al. (2011). Knowledge and beliefs regarding oral health among pregnant women. Journal of the American Dental Association, 142(11), 1275–1282.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kowash, M. B., Toumba, K. J., & Curzon, M. E. (2006). Cost-effectiveness of a long-term dental health education program for the prevention of early childhood caries. European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry, 7(3), 130–135.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Plutzer, K., & Spencer, A. J. (2008). Efficacy of an oral health promotion intervention in the prevention of early childhood caries. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 36(4), 335–346.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Lucey, S. M. (2009). Oral health promotion initiated during pregnancy successful in reducing early childhood caries. Evidence-Based Dentistry, 10(4), 100–101. doi: 10.1038/sj.ebd.6400677.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Weinstein, P., Harrison, R., & Benton, T. (2006). Motivating mothers to prevent caries: Confirming the beneficial effect of counseling. Journal of the American Dental Association, 137(6), 789–793.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Griffiths, F., Lindenmeyer, A., Powell, J., et al. (2006). Why are health care interventions delivered over the internet? A systematic review of the published literature. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 8(2), e10. doi: 10.2196/jmir.8.2.e10.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Webb, T. L., Joseph, J., Yardley, L., et al. (2010). Using the internet to promote health behavior change: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the impact of theoretical basis, use of behavior change techniques, and mode of delivery on efficacy. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 12(1), e4. doi: 10.2196/jmir.1376.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kirsch, S. E., & Lewis, F. M. (2004). Using the World Wide Web in health-related intervention research: A review of controlled trials. Computers Informatics Nursing, 22(1), 8–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Bennett, G. G., & Glasgow, R. E. (2009). The delivery of public health interventions via the Internet: Actualizing their potential. Annual Review of Public Health, 30, 273–292. doi: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.031308.100235.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Glanz, K., & Bishop, D. B. (2010). The role of behavioral science theory in development and implementation of public health interventions. Annual Review of Public Health, 31, 399–418. doi: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.012809.103604.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Kowash, M. B., Pinfield, A., Smith, J., et al. (2000). Effectiveness on oral health of a long-term health education programme for mothers with young children. British Dental Journal, 188(4), 201–205.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Schroth, R. J., Brothwell, D. J., & Moffatt, M. E. (2007). Caregiver knowledge and attitudes of preschool oral health and early childhood caries (ECC). International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 66(2), 153–167.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Buerlein, J. K., Horowitz, A. M., & Child, W. L. (2011). Perspectives of Maryland women regarding oral health during pregnancy and early childhood. Journal of Public Health Dentistry, 71(2), 131–135.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Finlayson, T. L., Siefert, K., Ismail, A. I., et al. (2007). Psychosocial factors and early childhood caries among low-income African-American children in Detroit. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 35(6), 439–448. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0528.2006.00352.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Poutanen, R., Lahti, S., Seppa, L., et al. (2007). Oral health-related knowledge, attitudes, behavior, and family characteristics among Finnish schoolchildren with and without active initial caries lesions. Acta Odontologica Scandinavica, 65(2), 87–96. doi: 10.1080/00016350601058077.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Albert
    • 1
  • Sharifa Z. Barracks
    • 2
  • Emilie Bruzelius
    • 1
  • Angela Ward
    • 1
  1. 1.Columbia University College of Dental MedicineNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Columbia University Mailman School of Public HealthNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations