Oral literacy demand in the pediatric dental clinic: A pilot study

Dafna Benadof, Evlambia Hajishengallis, Amanda Cole, Carolina Vidal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The parent's ability to obtain, process, and understand important oral health information (i.e., their oral health literacy) is directly related to their child's oral health status. Aim: To assess the relationship between oral literacy demands placed on parents by dentists and parents' understanding of dental information given to them. Design: Thirty-one consenting primary caregivers of children attending their first dental visit completed a demographic survey, a REALD-30 test, and a survey to test understanding of dental information. Dental appointments, performed by eight pediatric dental residents, were audio-recorded and transcribed for qualitative analysis and descriptive statistics. Results: Factors associated with language complexity were significantly higher in dental residents (R) than participants (P), that is, total number of words spoken (R: 1615.09 + 859.91 vs P: 480.68 + 232.034) and words per sentence (R: 8.82 + 1.74 vs P: 4.91 + 1.71). Speaking turns did not differ between resident and parent (R: 94.64 vs P: 83.27). Conclusions: Although the dialogue between the participating dentists and parents was highly unequal, parents understood about 86% of the information provided by the resident. Future studies are needed to identify factors associated with gaps in the educational process of parents in the dental setting.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Paediatric Dentistry
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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