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Attitudes of Chinese parents toward the oral health of their children with caries: a qualitative study

Wong, Diane; Perez-Spiess, Silvia; Julliard, Kell
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate Chinese parents' beliefs and perspectives regarding extensive caries (EC), oral care habits, and dental treatment. An overview of qualitative research methods is provided. METHODS: In this qualitative study, 20 in-depth interviews were conducted with parents of children diagnosed with EC. Parents lived in a major metropolitan area, and many were newly immigrated. Parents who accepted or refused dental treatment for their children under general anesthesia or sedation were included. Transcribed interviews were analyzed using standard thematic analysis. RESULTS: Negative themes were: (1) fear of dental anesthesia and its adverse effects; (2) parents' own lack of dental education as children; (3) lack of social support in seeking dental treatment; (4) inadequate knowledge of oral hygiene; and (5) cultural beliefs that did not support the preservation of the primary dentition. Positive themes were: (1) trust in the providers and in Western medicine; and (2) satisfaction with outcomes of dental treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Several factors were found that could contribute to a higher rate of EC in this population. Providers can benefit from this study by anticipating what practices and attitudes are common in this community. Earlier intervention and delivery of culturally sensitive care can prevent or delay progression of this dental disease
PMID: 16532893
ISSN: 0164-1263
CID: 154131