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Evaluation of age one connect the dots - a course to address infant oral health

Kaufer, Jamie (2017) Evaluation of age one connect the dots - a course to address infant oral health. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 19% of children between the ages of two and 19 have untreated dental caries. Caries is a multifactorial condition that requires a certain oral environment in order to develop. Poor oral health, including caries, can have a negative impact on quality of life and can progress to non-restorable condition, leading to tooth loss and increasing potential for infection. The prevention of caries at the physiological level, however, is well understood. Despite understanding the cause and prevention of oral disease, the question remains of why it persists. A report by the Surgeon General explains that although oral health is component of general health, there are communities where access to oral health care is limited, resulting in disparities and an increase in negative outcomes. Within the Appalachian region of the United States, it has been documented that oral health disparities exist. The presence of these ethnic and geographic disparities points to sociological as well as physiological causes of the disease. Despite knowing what causes tooth decay physiologically, no solution at the sociological level to completely prevent the disease from occurring, especially in children, has been developed and demonstrates a problem of public health relevance. In order to overcome sociological barriers, interventions need to address personal values as well as availability of resources such as affordable childcare, support, and education to attain a state of improved oral health. In the state of Pennsylvania (PA), several programs already exist that are working to address sociological barriers, such as the Age One Connect the Dots training program. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the training and gather insight into the experiences of participants, six interviews with past participants in Age One Connect the Dots were conducted. It was apparent that the Age One Connect the Dots program is providing a benefit to the communities where the training is being implemented. However, it also clear that participants are experiencing challenges that go beyond the scope of the program; these challenges provide an opportunity for expansion and improvement. Recommendations for modification to the program based on interview findings were suggested.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Kaufer, JamieJAK392@pitt.eduJAK392
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTerry, Martha Annmaterry@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberPolk, Deborahdpolk@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberFinegold, Daviddnf@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 27 April 2017
Date Type: Publication
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Multidisciplinary MPH
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2017 15:42
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2021 11:55

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