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Pediatricians' Self-Efficacy Affects Frequency of Giving Oral Health Advice, Conducting Oral Examination, and Prescribing Referrals

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Purpose: To assess the role of pediatricians' self-efficacy on frequency of enquiring about dental visits, conducting oral examinations, and prescription of referrals to dentists.
Methods: Pediatricians and pediatric medicine residents in public hospitals in Singapore completed a self-administered written questionnaire between April and October 2015. Participants' demographics, training, knowledge of oral health, perceived importance of oral health, and confidence in health-promoting behaviors were assessed. Self-efficacy related to oral health, including frequency of enquiring about dental visits, conducting oral examinations, and prescribing dental referrals, was measured. Generalized linear models were used for bivariate and multivariable analyses.
Results: A total of 122 responses were analyzed out of 227 that were sent out (response rate: 53.7 percent). Confidence in oral health knowledge was related to the frequency of enquiring about dental visits (relative risk [RR] = 0.74; 95 percent confidence interval [95% CI] = 0.55 to 1.00; P =0.047). Confidence in identification of caries was related to frequency of examination for oral diseases (RR=0.62; 95% CI=0.49 to 0.79; P <0.001). Confidence in giving oral health advice was related to referral of children with special needs (B=0.30; 95% CI=0.07 to 0.53; P =0.01) and those without (B=0.42; 95% CI=0.23 to 0.61; P <0.001).
Conclusion: Pediatricians' self-efficacy was strongly associated with the frequency with which they advised, examined, and referred children for oral-health-related reasons. (J Dent Child 2019;86(3):131-8)
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Keywords: DENTAL REFERRALS; ORAL HEALTH KNOWLEDGE; PEDIATRICIANS; SELF-EFFICACY

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Dr. Chay is a consultant and head, Dental Service, KK Women's and Children's Hospital, National University Centre for Oral Health, Singapore 2: Dr. Nair is a visiting research fellow, Adelaide Dental School, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia; and an adjunct professor, Department of Public Health Dentistry, DY Patil Dental College and Hospital, Pimpri, Pune, India;, Email: [email protected] 3: Dr. Tong is an adjunct senior lecturer, Faculty of Dentistry, National University Centre for Oral Health, Singapore

Publication date: September 1, 2019

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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