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Influence of Caregiver's Sociodemographic Background on the Oral Health Status and Care of HIV-infected Children

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between socio-demographic characteristics of caregivers and the oral health of their children infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV+) compared to a group of HIV-children and their caregivers.

Methods: One hundred forty HIV+ and 140 healthy two- to five-year-old children and their caregivers who sought care at hospitals in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, participated. Caregivers were interviewed for sociodemographic characteristics, and knowledge and attitudes regarding oral health. The decayed, missing and filled primary teeth (dmft) index was obtained for the children. Chi-square and Mann-Whitney tests were used (five percent significance level). Content analysis method was used for qualitative evaluation.

Results: Most interviewees were mothers (83.6 percent), did no work outside the home (69.3 percent), had low educational status (47.1 percent), and were born in the South/Southeast regions of Brazil (83.6 percent). The mean dmft was 3.48±3.14 for the HIV+ group and 1.02±1.00 for the healthy children. Oral care was reported as important by 54.1 percent of the caregivers. Those who didn't consider oral care important had never received information about oral health (P<0.01). Caregivers born in the North/Northeast regions took their children to the dentist less frequently than mothers born in other areas (P=0.02). Low educational status influenced the attitudes about oral health (P<0.01), irregular dental visits for the children (P<0.01), and the dmft index (P<0.01).

Conclusion: Caregivers' low educational status and birthplace influenced the importance given to HIV+ children's oral health as well as the oral health knowledge and practices for both HIV+ and healthy children.
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Keywords: CARIES; CHILD; DEMOGRAPHIC DATA; DENTAL; HIV; ORAL HEALTH

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Jesus and Pediatric dentist in private practice, in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2: Associate professor, Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Cariology, School of Dentistry, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Nova Friburgo, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 3: Associate professor, in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 4: Professor, in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 5: Associate professor, in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2017-01-01

More about this publication?
  • Acquired after the merger between the American Society of Dentistry for Children and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry in 2002, the Journal of Dentistry for Children (JDC) is an internationally renowned journal whose publishing dates back to 1934. Published three times a year, JDC promotes the practice, education and research specifically related to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. It covers a wide range of topics related to the clinical care of children, from clinical techniques of daily importance to the practitioner, to studies on child behavior and growth and development. JDC also provides information on the physical, psychological and emotional conditions of children as they relate to and affect their dental health.
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