Reducing oral disease risk and promoting better oral health are public health priorities. Tobacco users are at particularly high risk for oral disease ad are important targets for oral health promotion. Our prior research established that there is a need and opportunity to partner with tobacco quitline providers to promote better oral health care among tobacco users. Tobacco users have high rates of oral disease and less than optimal, modifiable self-care behaviors (e.g., routine oral hygiene and dental care). This is in addition to their tobacco use, higher rates of alcohol use, and poorer diets (all targets for improving oral health). Tobacco quitlines (i.e., proactive, phone-based nicotine dependence counseling programs) reach hundreds of thousands of people each year in the U.S. Working with the quitlines is an ideal way to reach tobacco users to promote better oral health and, based on our prior research, the leading U.S. tobacco quitline service provider and many of their contractors agree that this concept is worth pursuing. The current planning grant builds on our prior research and will allow us to prepare an application and all supporting intervention and study materials for a large randomized trial to evaluate the effectiveness of an integrated oral health-tobacco quitline counseling program. We previously drafted an oral health promotion written pamphlet for smokers which can be used as part of this intervention, but further work is necessary to refine this pamphlet and to design an adjunct counseling program. Consistent with the expectations for this award mechanism, we will use this planning grant to conduct this work and to develop all necessary study and intervention materials. These materials will be submitted with a future U01 application to test the effectiveness of the proposed intervention in a randomized clinical trial.
Our specific aims for this one year planning grant are to: 1) Identify oe or more tobacco quitlines serviced by Alere Wellbeing to partner with on a future randomized effectiveness trial (Alere Wellbeing is the leading provider of quitline services in the U.S. and has provided cessation services to nearly two million smokers to date.);2) Work closely with quitline staff to finalize the intervention design and draft the content for the proposed counselin intervention;3) Develop a written clinical trial protocol, including all study materials and an intervention training manual for the quitline counselors;and 4) Prepare a U01 application to NIDCR to test the proposed behavioral intervention. This programmatic research addresses an important public health need (promoting oral health) and our future randomized trial will address a critical scientific need (evaluating whether a behavioral counseling program targeted to smokers can improve oral health behavior). This work is highly responsive to the priorities of the NIDCR.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed planning grant will allow us to create the intervention and other materials necessary for a future clinical trial to test an integrated oral health promotion-tobacco quitline program. We will also write and submit a U01 application to NIDCR to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed intervention. We will work closely with the leading provider of U.S. tobacco quitline services (Alere Wellbeing) to accomplish this work. This collaboration strengthens the likelihood that the final intervention program can be successfully disseminated if proven effective. This work is well-aligned with the goals of NIDCR's R34 Clinical Trial Planning Grant mechanism and the priorities of NIDCR.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Planning Grant (R34)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDE1-JH (08))
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Clark, David
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Group Health Cooperative
United States
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