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Abigail Manzano, Dept. of Kinesiology, and Tatiana Kohlmann, with Dr. Aderonke A. Akinkugbe, VCU School of Dentistry and Dr. Sarah Raskin, L. Douglas Wilder School

Introduction: The United States (U.S.) is one of the top leading nations among developed countries, with the highest infant mortality rates, obesity rates, and chronic disease rates. Healthcare disparities and inequalities across the U.S. are becoming an increasing problem; low-income and minority families are regularly denied basic healthcare or simply cannot afford care. Thus, the current study assessed the relationship between time since settling in the U.S. and the oral health knowledge of a sample of low-income immigrants served at a free clinic in Richmond, Virginia. Methods: Patients from the CrossOver Healthcare Ministry clinics were recruited to measure reasons for dental disengagement. The staff at the clinics developed and provided a list of patients that have not been to the clinic in over a year or at all. Eligible participants were asked to complete a consent form and surveys on dental health status, socioeconomic status, and associated health conditions (e.g., chronic diseases, diabetes, etc.). Oral health knowledge was assessed using a validated instrument, the Comprehensive Measure of Oral Health Knowledge (CMOHK) that included a set of 25 questions designed to help understand the patient’s knowledge of dental health. Given that a majority of the patients that register with the CrossOver clinics are Latinx and Spanish-speaking individuals, the surveys were administered in both English and Spanish, depending on the patient’s preference. Responses from the surveys were entered into a protected, online research portal (REDCap) and will subsequently be analyzed using SAS. We plan to produce descriptive statistics using means and standard deviations or frequencies and relative frequencies and assess differences in oral health knowledge according to time since settling in the U.S. using t-tests or chi square tests. Results: Participant recruitment and data collection are still ongoing; however, I hypothesize that those that have accultured to the U.S. for more than 10 years would yield the highest CMOHK scores. Conclusions: Minorities and low-income individuals often neglect their own dental care needs for various reasons, this study will help us understand if length of stay in the U.S. affects oral health knowledge.

Publication Date


Current Academic Year


Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Dr. Aderonke Akinkugbe

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Dr. Sarah Raskin


Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

Is Part Of

VCU Undergraduate Research Posters


© The Author(s)

Correlation of Acculturation in the U.S. and Oral Health Knowledge