Funded Projects


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2016 Funded Projects

CFDHRE Peer Reviewed Grant ~ Restricted Category

Project Title:

“Exploring Access to Oral Health Care among Marginalized Persons with a History of Incarceration”

Lead Principal Applicant

Dr. Leeann R. Donnelly
Title: Assistant Professor
Organization: University of British Columbia
Address: 188-2199 Westbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z3

Principal Applicant:

Dr. Mario A Brondani
Title: Associate Professor
Organization: University of British Columbia
Address: 188-2199 Westbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z3

Award

$10,000

Abstract:

Problem Statement: Oral health disparities among vulnerable and marginalized populations across Canada have been linked to an inability to access appropriate oral health care services. A recent report from the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences has suggested that although affordability is a major source of this inequality to care, there are other issues also faced by vulnerable populations. For example, those who are marginalized and vulnerable may also experience stigma from society when attempting to access care, which adds yet another layer of complexity to the problem. Such stigmatization seems to be stronger among those with a history of incarceration. In fact, the John Howard Society of the Lower Mainland (JHSLM) has identified access to oral health care as a particular challenge for their clients who have had involvement with the criminal justice system. The JHSLM would like to have a better understanding of their client’s oral health care experiences so that appropriate strategies for service delivery can be developed to support their clientele.

Purpose/Aim: This project in collaboration with the JHSLM aims to explore the issues around access to oral health care faced by their clients and to identify contributing factors for current oral health inequalities within their community. The findings from this project will be utilized to develop culturally appropriate oral health care interventions for their clientele.

Methods: Three focus groups will be conducted with a subset of the clients who receive services from the JHSLM as well as one focus group with staff and administration. The four focus groups will explore knowledge, values and beliefs of oral health as well as perceived facilitators and barriers to accessing oral health care. Demographic information and perceived oral health impact will be gathered by a questionnaire.

Potential Results: Information from this project will help the JHSLM tailor oral health care services and resources for their clients accordingly. Interventions may be part of a long-term dental hygiene community outreach program and may lead to further oral health research and service within this community.

Impact: Overall, this project seeks to uncover barriers-to-care within the target community and gain a better understanding of perceived unmet oral health needs. The long term impact could potentially improve the oral health status and use of oral health services and resources of the target population.

CFDHRE Peer Reviewed Grant ~ Open Category

Project Title:

“Factors Facilitating Dental Practitioners in the Provision of Infant and Toddler Dental Homes in Alberta: An Interpretive Description”

Lead Principal Applicant

Dr. Sharon Compton, RDH, PhD
Title: Director, Dental Hygiene Program, Associate Chair (Dental Hygiene), School of Dentistry
Organization: University of Alberta
Address: 5-555 Edmonton Clinic Health Academy 11405-87 Ave, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 1C9

Principal Applicant:

Jacqueline VanMalsen
Title: Graduate Student, Masters of Science in Medical Sciences (Dental Hygiene)
Organization: University of Alberta
Address: 5-555 Edmonton Clinic Health Academy 11405-87 Ave, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 1C9

Award

$10,000

Abstract:

Problem Statement: Uptake of infant oral health guidelines related to first oral health assessment by age one has been poor in Canada.1,2 Previous studies have sought to identify barriers related to poor uptake.3-5 A model based on successful implementation of dental homes by age one is a crucial primary step to address gaps in access to care.

Purpose/Aim: The purpose of the project is to understand factors that facilitate provision of a dental home for infants and toddlers by oral health practitioners (pediatric dentists, general dentists and dental hygienists).

Methods: This study will follow a qualitative paradigm and interpretive descriptive approach to establish an in-depth understanding of what factors enable practitioners to successfully provide early pediatric, preventive oral health care. Purposive sampling will be employed to obtain a variety of practitioner perspectives. The investigator plans to conduct semi-structured interviews with 10-15 participants. Interviews will be audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data collection and analysis will be done simultaneously. Thematic analysis (inductive/deductive) will be used to generate findings. Interviews will continue until an in-depth understanding of first year dental homes is achieved.

Potential Impact: This study seeks to improve understanding of the attributes of dental homes that have successfully integrated infant and toddler oral health into routine patient care. These findings may help establish common best practices in early pediatric oral health care, with a future goal of broader adoption in the dental community. This research has potential to help inform educational practice and training of dental providers. The findings may help elucidate strategies to improve access to early pediatric oral health care. Most importantly, by establishing an understanding of factors that have enabled practitioners to provide a dental home by age one, this research has potential to set critical underpinnings for improved practice and uptake of early pediatric oral health to ameliorate early childhood caries (ECC).

CDAA & CFDHRE JOINT PEER REVIEWED GRANT 2016

Project Title:

Evaluation of noise levels in the work environment on dental assistants and dental hygienists hearing and wellness

Lead Principal Applicant

Laura Dempster DipDH, BScD(DH), MSc, PhD
Title: Associate Professor
Organization: Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto
Address: 124 Edward Street, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1G6

Collaborators:

Stella Ng PhD Reg CASLPO 
Scientist & Assistant Professor
Director of Research, Centre for Faculty Development
Education Scientist, Centre for Ambulatory Care Education
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Speech-Language Pathology
Cross-Appointed Scientist, The Wilson Centre
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Jeff Crukley PhD, FAAA
Senior Research Scientist, Starkey Hearing Technologies
6600 Washington Ave. S., Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Adjunct Lecturer, Dept. of Speech-Language Pathology
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Award

$25,000

Abstract:

Background: Gaps exist in our knowledge and understanding of noise exposure in dental practice.  More specifically, the impact of noise exposure has not been adequately documented in dental personnel other than dentists, and studies have not explored the long term effect of higher than normal noise levels on personal wellness or examined workplace conditions and how persistent moderate noise levels impact communication and concentration in the dental office workplace. Need exists for a comprehensive study of dental assistants (DAs) and dental hygienists (DHs), to assess the auditory conditions of the dental workplace environment, and the impact of these conditions on working conditions and worker wellness.  

Objective: (1) to assess noise exposure experienced by DAs and DHs in the dental office and (2) investigate the implications of this workplace condition on individual wellness.   

Methods: 20 DAs/DHs will be purposefully sampled in a mixed method naturalistic study.  Participant hearing will be assessed pre- and post-study. Work-related noise levels will be measured using lapel dosimeters worn by DAs/DHs for 2 weeks.  Participants will be interviewed to discuss their perceptions of their general wellbeing. Additional information (blood pressure and coping style) will be collected and compared to qualitative and quantitative data.

Impact: The impact of this routine noise exposure has been debated for many years; however research to date has been inconclusive.  Concern has been expressed that noise levels found in dental practice are at an intensity, duration and/or frequency that could result in noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) or tinnitus.  However, even if no change in hearing is identified, the absence of hearing loss is not to be conflated with the absence of ill effects from persistent noise exposure in dental practices. This study is the first to consider the impact of work related noise exposure and wellness in dental professionals.