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Type: Journal article
Title: Reducing disease burden and health inequalities arising from chronic disease among Indigenous children: an early childhood caries intervention
Author: Merrick, J.
Chong, A.
Parker, E.
Roberts-Thomson, K.
Misan, G.
Spencer, A.
Broughton, J.
Lawrence, H.
Jamieson, L.
Citation: BMC Public Health, 2012; 12(1):1-6
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 1471-2458
Statement of
Jessica Merrick, Alwin Chong, Eleanor Parker, Kaye Roberts-Thomson, Gary Misan, John Spencer, John Broughton, Herenia Lawrence and Lisa Jamieson
Abstract: Background: This study seeks to determine if implementing a culturally-appropriate early childhood caries (ECC) intervention reduces dental disease burden and oral health inequalities among Indigenous children living in South Australia, Australia. Methods/Design: This paper describes the study protocol for a randomised controlled trial conducted among Indigenous children living in South Australia with an anticipated sample of 400. The ECC intervention consists of four components: (1) provision of dental care; (2) fluoride varnish application to the teeth of children; (3) motivational interviewing and (4) anticipatory guidance. Participants are randomly assigned to two intervention groups, immediate (n = 200) or delayed (n = 200). Provision of dental care (1) occurs during pregnancy in the immediate intervention group or when children are 24-months in the delayed intervention group. Interventions (2), (3) and (4) occur when children are 6-, 12- and 18-months in the immediate intervention group or 24-, 30- and 36-months in the delayed intervention group. Hence, all participants receive the ECC intervention, though it is delayed 24 months for participants who are randomised to the control-delayed arm. In both groups, self-reported data will be collected at baseline (pregnancy) and when children are 24- and 36-months; and child clinical oral health status will be determined during standardised examinations conducted at 24- and 36-months by two calibrated dental professionals. Discussion: Expected outcomes will address whether exposure to a culturally-appropriate ECC intervention is effective in reducing dental disease burden and oral health inequalities among Indigenous children living in South Australia.
Keywords: Humans
Dental Caries
Chronic Disease
Program Evaluation
Cost of Illness
Child, Preschool
Health Promotion
Cultural Competency
Health Status Disparities
Surveys and Questionnaires
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
Rights: © 2012 Merrick et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-12-323
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