Personalised dental education for caries risk reduction in an adult population in the Republic of Ireland

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Nishi, Makiko
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University College Cork
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Overall aim: To investigate the impact on caries risk reduction of a personalised dental education approach based on individual caries risk assessment using mobile-phone short text messages in an economically disadvantaged adult population in the Republic of Ireland. Methods: Two studies were conducted: a cross-sectional study with patients recruited through a non-profit organisation in Japan using questionnaires, and a 2-arm parallel-group, single-blinded, randomised controlled study with medical-card holders recruited in Ireland; caries risk was assessed using the Cariogram and participants responded to a survey questionnaire. Results: A higher proportion of Irish participants (n = 159) identified “Not visiting the dentist for check-up and cleaning” (odds ratio (OR) 2.655; 99% confidence interval (CI) 1.550, 4.547) and “Not using fluoride” (OR 1.714; 99% CI 1.049, 2.802) than did Japanese participants (n =482) as caries risk factors. There was an association between assessed caries risk (Chance-AC) and self-perceived caries risk in the four risk groups (n = 165). Approximately two-thirds of participants in the high-risk groups did not consider themselves as being more prone to dental decay than the average person. Caries risk profiles among participants (n = 167) were clustered into five groups. As a result of protocol violations, 84% of the 111 participants (56: personalised group; 55: non-personalised group) were not sent their assigned number and combination of text messages. Intent-to-treat analysis did not show a personalised intervention effect in Chance-AC. Of the secondary outcome measures, the stimulated saliva amount factor showed a personalised intervention effect, P = 0.036 (OR 0.3; 95% CI 0.1, 0.9). Conclusions: This thesis could not reach a definitive conclusion as to whether a personalised mHealth approach was more effective than a non-personalised mHealth approach, the exception being for the saliva amount parameter. It is worth further exploring the potential of mobile-devices for personalised caries risk reduction.
Dental caries , Risk factors , Risk assessment , Preventive dentistry , Perception , Knowledge , Vulnerable populations , Cell phone , Telemedicine
Nishi, M. 2018. Personalised dental education for caries risk reduction in an adult population in the Republic of Ireland. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.