Community based research in partnership with the University of Melboure to better understand the cultural appropriateness of oral care strategies.
Teeth Tales is a community based research project being conducted by Merri Community Health Services and the University of Melbourne in partnership with Dental Health Services Victoria, Moreland City Council, The Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health, Arabic Welfare, Victorian Arabic Social Services, Pakistani Australia Association of Melbourne, North Richmond Community Health and City of Yarra.
Teeth Tales – Understanding the Issues
In the first phase of Teeth Tales, oral health was identified by local Iraqi, Lebanese and Pakistani community leaders and families as a priority issue. A needs assessment identified sociocultural risk factors contributing to poor oral health.
To gain a greater understanding of the effects of culture, migration and acculturation on the oral health of children, consultations were conducted with 200 community members from the Iraqi, Lebanese and Pakistani communities in Moreland. The information gained has been used to inform the development and trial of culturally appropriate oral health promotion intervention.
Teeth Tales – Applying the Learnings
The solutions identified by the community have now informed the community-based intervention, which has been developed to form the second phase of Teeth Tales.
The Intervention program includes:
The program involves training and educating members of cultural communities in child oral health and nutrition, as well as how and where to access dental and health services. The peer educators then provide oral health education programs for their respective communities. As part of these programs, group dental visits will be organised to increase familiarity with the available dental and family support services. Recruitment and training of peer educators has been in partnership with cultural organisations.
Services and programs provided by community health services and local governments, will take part in a cultural competence review, in order to identify organisational strengths in cultural competency and areas for improvement. The Cultural Competency Organisational Review (CORe) tool has been developed specifically to guide this process. CORe aims to increase organisational capacity in order to enhance access to services and appropriate service delivery for people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. After the review has been conducted, organisations will be assisted to identify strategies that will enable an improved level of cultural competence to be achieved and/or sustained.
The organisations that are involved in this review are North Richmond Community Health Service, Merri Community Health Services, Moreland City Council’s Social Policy & Early Years Branch and the McCaughey Centre at the University of Melbourne.
The aim of this study is to conduct a longitudinal matched comparison exploratory study, to examine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a community-based, culturally competent, child oral health promotion intervention. Specifically, we aim to determine whether the intervention can:
This project will enhance the cultural competence of services for refugee and migrant families, including family and dental services, provided by participating community health services and local government, including extension of preschool oral health education programs to cultural settings. It is intended to promote child oral health and wellbeing; targeting increased daily use of low- fluoride toothpaste, reduced child daily consumption of high sugar food and drinks, and increased parental knowledge, confidence and practice in primary dentition care.
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