According to the 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey, 25 percent of US adults are functionally illiterate. Because written health information is frequently provided at above the tenth grade level, health messages are not reaching low literacy patients jeopardizing their health status. Low literacy has been found by researchers to have a detrimental effect on general health and the use of medical services. Evidence from research in medical settings consistently highlights the importance of comprehension and literacy for patient compliance and increased positive health outcomes. Although much is known about medical health literacy, there are no studies that have systematically studied oral health literacy. The purpose of this current application is to examine how a low dental literacy population interprets dental health prevention information, navigates the dental health system and whether participation in a large comprehensive public health program (WIC) can be effective in improving this process for pregnant women and their children and reduce health disparities. Specifically, we will: 1) Determine the dental health literacy rates among a low income, high risk population, 2) Examine the role of the Women, Infant, and Children's Program in understanding preventive dental health information such as consent forms, oral hygiene instructions and compliance to fluoride instructions among a low income/low dental health literacy population 3) Examine the role of the Women, Infant, and Children's Program in navigating the .dental health care system among a low income/low dental literacy population including compliance for dental appointments and appropriate use and 4) Evaluate the effects of the Women, Infant, and Children's Program on cumulative treatment and costs of dental services provided by Medicaid as well as oral health related quality of life in a population with low dental health literacy.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01DE018045-08
Application #
8709833
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
Program Officer
Nowjack-Raymer, Ruth
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
8
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Department
Dentistry
Type
Schools of Dentistry/Oral Hygn
DUNS #
City
Chapel Hill
State
NC
Country
United States
Zip Code
27599
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Lee, Jessica Y; Divaris, Kimon; DeWalt, Darren A et al. (2014) Caregivers' health literacy and gaps in children's Medicaid enrollment: findings from the Carolina Oral Health Literacy Study. PLoS One 9:e110178
Divaris, Kimon; Lee, Jessica Y; Baker, A Diane et al. (2014) Influence of caregivers and children's entry into the dental care system. Pediatrics 133:e1268-76
Lee, J Y; Divaris, K (2014) The ethical imperative of addressing oral health disparities: a unifying framework. J Dent Res 93:224-30
Wehmeyer, Meggan M H; Corwin, Caleb L; Guthmiller, Janet M et al. (2014) The impact of oral health literacy on periodontal health status. J Public Health Dent 74:80-7
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Sanzone, Lauren A; Lee, Jessica Y; Divaris, Kimon et al. (2013) A cross sectional study examining social desirability bias in caregiver reporting of children's oral health behaviors. BMC Oral Health 13:24
Vann Jr, W F; Divaris, K; Gizlice, Z et al. (2013) Caregivers' health literacy and their young children's oral-health-related expenditures. J Dent Res 92:55S-62S
Lee, Jessica Y; Divaris, Kimon; Baker, A Diane et al. (2012) The relationship of oral health literacy and self-efficacy with oral health status and dental neglect. Am J Public Health 102:923-9
Divaris, Kimon; Lee, Jessica Y; Baker, A Diane et al. (2011) The relationship of oral health literacy with oral health-related quality of life in a multi-racial sample of low-income female caregivers. Health Qual Life Outcomes 9:108

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