296 Assessment of Advocacy Practices of U.S. Pediatric Dentists

Thursday, March 22, 2012: 2 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Presentation Type: Poster Session
H. AMINI1, M. LOPEZ-CEPERO1, G. PAGANO1, P. CASAMASSIMO1, and R. RASHID2, 1Pediatric Dentistry, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 2College of Dentistry, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) encourages its members to participate in advocacy efforts at the local, state, and national levels, promoting policies, guidelines, and programs that support optimal oral health and oral health care. Research is needed to shed light on the level of involvement in advocacy activities by today’s practicing pediatric dentists.

Objectives : The objectives of this study were to: 1) examine the types and extent of advocacy by member of the AAPD; and 2) assess their attitudes towards various advocacy-related activities.

Methods : An internet-based survey was distributed via email to members of the AAPD currently in practice.  The survey consisted of 19 questions, which elicited demographic information, advocacy training, attitudes towards advocacy, and past, recent, and current advocacy practices.  The statistical analysis was conducted using the descriptive statistics gathered from each question, and chi squared analyses to detect significant associations between questions. 

Results: A total 1046 of the 4234 targeted pediatric dentists responded to the survey, yielding a 25% response rate. 90% of participants agreed that being an advocate for children beyond the dental office was an appropriate role for pediatric dentists.  While only 26% received specific training in advocacy in their residencies, 66% of respondents felt prepared to be effective advocates for children.  Dentists who had the opportunity to experience legislative lobbying experience while in residency were more likely to have lobbied for oral health legislative changes (p<0.0004) and to have contacted policymakers regarding Medicaid and or CHIP (p<0.0002).

Conclusions:  The majority of pediatric dentists felt it was important to engage in advocacy efforts for children’s oral health issues. There was a larger amount of participation in clinically-related advocacy activities as compared to non-clinical activities.

This abstract is based on research that was funded entirely or partially by an outside source: The Student Research Program of The Ohio State University College of Dentistry

Keywords: Assessment, Behavioral science and Pedodontics