Parental Opinions of Anti-Tobacco Messages within a Pediatric Dental Clinic
Sims, Kari Ann
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University of Washington <bold>Abstract<bold> Parental Opinions of Anti-Tobacco Messages within a Pediatric Dental Clinic Kari A. Sims Supervisory Committee- Penelope J. Leggott BDS, MS Melissa A. Schiff, MD, MPH JoAnna M. Scott, PhD <bold>Purpose:<bold> To investigate parents' opinions about anti-tobacco messages given in a pediatric dental clinic. <bold>Methods:<bold> A survey was developed and administered to parents and caregivers at the University of Washington pediatric dental clinic soliciting their opinions about dentists, medical doctors, and parents giving anti-tobacco messages, and at what age these messages were appropriate. Descriptive analysis was completed for all variables. Fisher's exact and Chi-square tests were utilized to test for association between parental opinions of anti-tobacco messages given by a dentist and both parental tobacco use status and the age of the oldest child in the household. <bold>Results:<bold> A total of 286 surveys were utilized in data analysis. Of those surveyed, the majority were female (75.1%), white (63.5%), parents (91.3%), and had an average age of 42.1 years. Almost half had a college degree or higher (48.9%). Only 18.1% reported using tobacco products in the past 30 days. Two-thirds (65.0%) of the accompanied children were covered by public dental insurance. The majority indicated that it was appropriate for parents (96.5%), medical doctors (90.9%), and dentists (90.9%) to give children and adolescents anti-tobacco messages. When asked when a child should first receive anti-tobacco messages from a dentist, the majority indicated that 8-12 years was the most appropriate age (56.4%). Opinions of anti-tobacco messages given to children by the child's dentist did not differ based on parental tobacco use status, although parents who reported current tobacco use status were significantly more likely to indicate being upset if their child's dentist asked them about their own tobacco use (p = 0.032). Parents of older children are more likely to feel it is appropriate for a dentist to talk to their child about tobacco use, while parents of younger children are more likely to be unsure of the appropriateness of this practice (p= 0.004). <bold>Conclusions:<bold> Most parents indicated that dentists are an appropriate source of anti-tobacco messages and believed that ages 8-12 was the youngest age at which a dentist should be giving anti-tobacco messages. This study provides important reassurance that medical doctors and dentists share equal acceptability as sources of preventive messages in regard to tobacco use. The results of this study should encourage dentists to feel more confident in approaching this topic with patients and their families.
- Dentistry