Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Pediatric Dentistry

First Advisor

Tegwyn Brickhouse


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine parental Functional Health Literacy and their child’s subsequent utilization of dental services. Methods: This was a prospective cohort study of children (n=1175) enrolled in the Child Health Investment Partnership of Virginia (CHIP). Descriptive statistics and separate multivariate logistic regressions were used to determine the relationship between functional health literacy measures; 1) Health Care Literacy (HCL), 2) Personal Health Literacy (PHL), and 3) LSP 22 scale, with utilization as measured as number of dental visit/s. Results: Descriptive analysis of the cohort reveals: 45% black, 40% white, 10% Hispanic, 5% other, 41% of parents not having a high school diploma or GED, >75% were enrolled in CHIP by the age of one, 90% had Medicaid, 80% lived in Roanoke City, 87% had a normal birth weight, 86% were term pregnancies, and 91% did not have asthma. All literacy measures, PHL, HCL, LSP 22, and LSP 22 Target Range were positively associated with having dental utilization. Hispanic race had a less likely chance of having multiple dental visits even when within target range of LSP 22. Conclusion: Parents of children enrolled in CHIP with higher levels of functional health literacy as measured by the Life Skills Progression Instrument demonstrated an increased likelihood of dental utilization for their children.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2009