Funded Projects

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2009 Funded Projects

Master's Award
Project Title: Cultural Competency Education in Dental Hygiene
Published Research

Lead Principal Applicant
Name: Carole J. Charbonneau


Background: According to current evidence, ethnic minorities and First Nations people experience poorer oral health and general health outcomes than the general population. These differences in health outcomes in the populations are known as health disparities. Barriers that exist which contribute to these disparities are financial, educational, language and cultural. Increased cultural competency in health education is suggested as a means of addressing these barriers. Cultural competency education will aid practitioners in understanding the cultural issues that exist which might prevent ethnic minorities and First Nations people from seeking or understanding health services. Additionally, practitioners will understand that cultural competency is a dynamic process which will require a paradigm shift in how health care is delivered. Presently, cultural competency is not consistently taught in dental hygiene programs.

Objective: The findings of this research project will provide information for the development of cultural competency curriculum content for dental hygiene programs. This will contribute to knowledge translation which will improve how dental hygienists practice client-centered care, and, ultimately reduce oral health disparities that currently exist.

CFHRE Peer Reviewed Grant
Project Title: A Systematic Review of Interventions to Improve Daily Mouth Care for Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities.

Lead Principal Applicant
Name: Sandra J. Cobban, RDH, PhD Candidate
Title: Associate Professor
Host Institution/Organization: Dental Hygiene Program, University of Alberta
Address: 2038A Dentistry-Pharmacy Centre, Edmonton, AB, T6G2N8

Co- Principal Applicant:
Name: Carole Estabrooks, RN, PhD
Title: Professor, Canada Research Chair
Organization: Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta
Address: 3rd Floor Clinical Sciences Building, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2G3


Background: Oral health is important to general health, but dentate elderly in long-term care suffer caries or gingival bleeding, and the edentulous suffer from denture stomatitis and loose dentures. These conditions are debilitating, having a negative effect on food consumption. Residents are older with more physical and cognitive impairments, and have natural teeth, rather than dentures. Policies have been slow to adapt to such changes. Daily mouthcare is provided by nursing aides under the direction of nurses. Nursing aides face resistive behaviours, absence of necessary supplies, fear or discomfort providing oral care, lack of confidence in levels of knowledge, lack of time and lack of staff.

Objective: A systematic review of interventions to improve oral health outcomes. When findings of the study proceed to implementation, pain and oral disease will be reduced for elders in long-term care.

These are innovative projects with high levels of importance to the dental hygiene profession. Congratulations to the researchers!