Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Pediatric Dentistry

First Advisor

Latrice Foster


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to describe children’s dental disease status and functional health literacy of families enrolled in the Child Health Investment Partnership program in Roanoke Valley. Methods: This was a prospective cohort study of children (n=166) enrolled in the Child Health Investment Partnership of Roanoke Valley, Virginia (CHIP). The parents of the 166 children completed the Life Skills Progression (LSP) survey at enrollment between September 2004 and September 2008 to assess their functional health literacy levels. Their LSP scores were used to determine their subsequent health care literacy (HCL), personal health literacy (PHL), and dental-child utilization (LSP22) scores. Descriptive statistics were recorded and a paired t-test was used to determine a relationship between the three measures of functional health literacy at baseline and at their most recent literacy assessment. Dental disease status was determined by an epidemiological dental exam and evaluated using d1d2-3f criteria. This was a visual exam that measured the presence of frank (d2-3) and non-cavitated carious lesions (d1), as well as filled teeth. Results: Descriptive analysis of the cohort reveals: 58% of the children enrolled had no carious teeth at the dental screening exam. The average mean of LSP scores for all three scales: HCL, PHL, and LSP22 were significantly different from baseline: p<.0001, p<.0009, and p<.0001, respectively. Conclusion: An improvement of parental functional health literacy has been documented in a low-income pediatric dental population when preventative efforts and education is delivered within the context of a home-visitation health program. The population of high-risk children had low levels of dental disease.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2010