Chronic dental disease is acknowledged to be the most prevalent preventable chronic disease in children and is disproportionately higher for Hispanic children who are part of the nation's largest minority group (Crall & Edelstein, 2001; Flores et al., 2002; Barker & Horton, 2008). In spite of efforts to provide access to dental services, parents make the ultimate decision if and when to take their child to the dentist. Management of this chronic condition lessens pain, improves attendance at school, improves concentration, and improves grades (Dental Health Foundation, 2006; Percy, 2008). Successful management is dependent upon identifying the barriers Hispanic parents face in seeking dental care for their children. Culturally appropriate instruments are key in identifying barriers that parent's face to advance what is known about the oral health needs of Hispanic children (Ramos-Gomez et al., 2005). A convenience sample (N = 322) of primarily Hispanic parents and guardians (94.3%) were recruited from two clinics in Los Angeles which provide care to underserved communities in Southern California. The purpose of the first phase of the study was to determine the cultural equivalence of translated measures of oral health factors (i.e., oral health beliefs, parental dental anxiety, access to dental care, perceived discrimination, and pediatricians' role in seeking dental care) based on the Behavioral Model for Vulnerable Populations that were combined to develop The Children's Oral Health Survey (COHS) used in the second phase of the study. The purpose of the second phase was to determine the factors that influence utilization of oral health services in Hispanic children. Findings from this research found gender to be a significant predictor of dental care utilization for children. In comparison to parents who had one child, parents with more than one child were more likely to take at least one child for dental visits. More importantly, parents who thought their children were treated with respect by dental staff was significant in influencing utilization of oral health services. Findings from this research using the translated instruments suggested that Hispanic parents may not understand the questions and therefore demonstrates that a tool that is culturally developed would better identify the oral health issues of Hispanic parents.
|Advisor:||Huttlinger, Kathleen W.|
|Commitee:||Forster Cox, Sue, Keller, Teresa, Schultz, Pamela|
|School:||New Mexico State University|
|School Location:||United States -- New Mexico|
|Source:||DAI-B 75/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Barrier to care, Dental disease, Hispanic children, Oral health|
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