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Effectiveness of oral hygiene instruction to parents of preschool cerebral palsy children

By 1943- Roland R. Ditto

Abstract

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)The lack of an effective method for teaching oral hygiene procedures to parents of handicapped children prompted this investigation. Seventy-nine preschool cerebral palsy children were randomly distributed according to age and sex into three groups. The parents of these groups received the following instruction: Group I - written instructions for a detailed approach to oral hygiene maintenance in the home as if the child were without handicap; Group II - written instructions for a specialized approach to home oral hygiene maintenance with emphasis on two people providing the care, and mouth propping for access and stability of the arms and legs; Group III - no specific oral hygiene instructions. Each child in each group received a thorough oral examination and deposits of dental plaque were disclosed, numerically scored and recorded. Each parent of the three study groups participated in a written examination of dental knowledge at each visit. After each examination, the correct answers were given to the parent by both a verbal and written response. Parents and children returned at 90-day intervals. Variables such as transportation, surgery performed during the period of study, deteriorating health in the child, parental apathy about dental problems, and change in family job or location, reduced the sample from seventy-nine to fifty-four subjects, with data being obtained for pre- and post- examination periods. Both test group of parents significantly improved their dental knowledge scores after ninety days. However, none of the children decreased their plaque enough to show statistical significance. Perhaps there was some motivational improvement in the Group II parents, as they returned for the examination at a better rate, judged to be significant as compared to the other groups. Further investigation is recommended either to study the technique by itself without a time interval between scores or to evaluate the factors of intelligence, economic level, gravity of medical situation, and sibling support as they offset changes in behavior. Until then, it appears on the basis of this study that it is possible to increase the parent's knowledge of oral health but that changing the behavior of the parent actually performing the task is much more difficult

Topics: Disabled, Health Education, Dental, Cerebral Palsy
Year: 1974
OAI identifier: oai:scholarworks.iupui.edu:1805/4137
Provided by: IUPUIScholarWorks

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