883 Efficacy of a Web-Based Training Program on Disordered Eating Behaviors

Friday, March 23, 2012: 2 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Presentation Type: Poster Session
R.D. DEBATE1, H.H. SEVERSON2, D. CRAGUN1, C. CANTWELL2, T. SHAW2, A.A. GALLENTINE1, S. CHRISTIANSEN3, A. KOERBER4, S. TOMAR5, W. HENDRICSON6, K. MCCORMACK BROWN7, and L. TEDESCO8, 1Department of Community and Family Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, 2Deschutes Research, Inc, Eugene, OR, 3Intervision Media, Eugene, OR, 4Department of Pediatric Dentistry, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, Chicago, IL, 5Department of Community Dentistry & Behavioral Science, University of Florida College of Dentistry, Gainesville, FL, 6University of Texas Health Science Center at San antonio, Dental School, San Antonio, TX, 7College of Health & Human Performance, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 8Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Objectives: Oral health providers (OHPs; i.e. dentists and dental hygienists) have a clinical opportunity for early detection of oral signs of disordered eating behaviors followed by referral for treatment (i.e., secondary prevention) as they are often the first health professional to observe overt health effects. To evaluate the efficacy of a theory driven, web-based training program on secondary prevention of disordered eating behaviors.

Methods: The current study employed a two-group randomized controlled trial involving 18 oral health classes (7 dental; 11 dental hygiene) randomized to either the training program (Intervention Condition n=12 classes;  7 dental hygiene; 5 dental) or to instruction-as-usual (Control Condition n = 6 classes; 4 dental hygiene; 2 dental). The total number of participants included 314 students (n=182 Intervention; n=132 Control).

A web-based Likert-type questionnaire was employed to assess the following variables: professional responsibility (α=.798); legal responsibility (α =.856); perceived susceptibility (α=.932); perceived severity (α=.932); perceived benefits (α=.840); perceived barriers (α=.876); self-efficacy (α=.911); procedural knowledge and knowledge of oral manifestations of disordered eating behaviors; socio-demographics.

Results: After adjusting for baseline levels, post-assessment analyses reveal statistically significant improvements among Intervention group participants as compared with Control group participants with regard to: knowledge of eating disorders and oral findings (p<.001); perceived susceptibility (p<.001); perceived barriers (p<.001); procedural knowledge (p<.001); and self-efficacy (p<.001). Effect sizes ranging from .39 to 1.00. 

Conclusions: The empirically driven intervention has shown to improve eating disorder secondary prevention knowledge, beliefs, skills, and self-efficacy among dental and dental hygiene students. This project promotes the timely transfer of oral-systemic health research into the oral health curriculum subsequently increasing the likelihood that persons with disordered eating behaviors are identified in the context of oral health care, and referred to care and given proper, tailored treatment.

This abstract is based on research that was funded entirely or partially by an outside source: NIH 1RC1DE020274-01

Keywords: Behavioral science, Education research, Evaluation, Preventive dentistry and Technology