Program

Jun 14, 2012

OVERVIEW

 This oral health education program is a clinic-based parent education intervention designed to decrease sugary snacking and improve oral health in toddlers.  This intervention includes educational instruction, printed materials, and reminder phone calls.  An experimental evaluation of this study found significant impacts on reduction of sugary snacking in affluent children, and marginal impacts on sugary snacking in non-affluent children.

 DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target Population: Toddlers.

 This oral health promotion program involves parent education delivered within an existing healthcare system.  Based on the health belief model, this program utilizes both educational and motivational tools to encourage behavior change.  The program consists of medical providers giving mothers of toddlers brief oral health instruction at a regular vaccination appointment, a pamphlet about sugary snacking, and reminder phone calls 2 and 4 months after the initial appointment.  The goal of this program is to reduce sugary snacking in toddlers, and thereby improve oral health.

EVALUATION OF PROGRAM

Mohebbi, S. Z., Virtanen, J. I., & Vehkalahti, M. M. (2012). A community-randomized controlled trial against sugary snacking among infants and toddlers. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 40 (Suppl. 1), 43-48. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0528.2011.00665.x

 Evaluated Population:  The sample was 242 mother-child pairs attending public health center appointments for children who were 12 to 15 months old (average age = 12.3 months).  This study was conducted in Tehran, Iran, which has a developing oral health services sector.  The toddlers were 50 percent male and 49 percent from affluent areas of the city.  Racial/ethnic information was not reported.

Approach:  Eighteen of the 102 public health centers in Tehran were selected to participate in this study.  The selected health centers were randomized and evenly divided into 3 groups: intervention (Group A; 77 pairs), pamphlet only (Group B; 85 pairs), and control (Group C; 80 pairs).  While Group A received the full intervention detailed above, Group B received a pamphlet with information, but did not receive the oral health instruction or the reminder phone calls.  Group C did not receive any intervention.  The interventions were delivered at routine vaccination appointments at the health center.  Mother-child pairs were chosen to participate in the study based on the age of the child and the date of vaccination appointments.

Parent-reported frequency of sugary snacking was assessed using a structured interview pre-intervention and 6 months later.  The child’s gender, date of birth, and residential area (affluent/non-affluent) were collected at baseline.  Prior to the intervention, all 3 groups were equivalent on sugary snacking and affluence of residential area.  The analyses were not adjusted for clustering.  A total of 177 mother-child pairs completed the post-intervention evaluation, for an attrition rate of 27 percent.

Results:  Based on the intent to treat analyses, this program had a significant impact on the reduction in sugary snacking for affluent children in Groups A and B compared with the control group.  There was marginal impact on reduction of sugary snacking in the non-affluent Group A children.

 SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Mohebbi, S. Z., Virtanen, J. I., & Vehkalahti, M. M. (2012). A community-randomized controlled trial against sugary snacking among infants and toddlers. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 40 (Suppl. 1), 43-48. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0528.2011.00665.x

Contact Information

Simin Z. Mohebbi

Department of Community Oral Health

School of Dentistry

Tehran University of Medical Sciences

1439955991 Tehran, Iran

Phone: +98 21 88497427

Email: smohebbi@tums.ac.ir, simin.mohebbi@helsinki.fi

KEYWORDS: Toddlers (12-36 months), Males and Females (Co-ed), Clinic/Provider-based, Parent Training/Education, Parent or Family Component, Physical Health Other

 Program information last updated on 6/14/12.