Methods: This 32 item survey (questionnaire) was sent to 573 individuals who care for persons with special health care needs in the state of Nebraska. The survey consisted of questions to determine the individual’s perception and knowledge of oral health for PSN. These questions included gender, age, formal and informal training, oral health knowledge and the number of years helping PSN. Responses to the questionnaire were tabulated and percent frequency distributions for responses to each item was computed. Chi-square tests, nonparametric Wilcoxon rank-sum tests, and logistic regression models were used to analyze data.
Results: Of the 573 surveys distributed throughout Nebraska, 255 (44%) were returned. Only 20 (8%) people said they had formal training and 71 (29%) had informal training. One hundred twenty-five (50%) claimed they had minimal knowledge of oral health for PSN. Three (1%) said their knowledge was extensive. There was no correlation between how long one has been helping PSN and their self-rating knowledge of oral health for PSN. Having equipment (56%), further training (54%), continuing education (51%) and further education (41%) would improve their ability to provide oral health care for PSN.
Conclusions: Most individuals who care for PSN have no formal or informal training and rate their knowledge as minimal. There was a very strong correlation between the belief that a training DVD would be informative and helpful and that providing information regarding oral health care for PSN would change how they care for the child’s teeth at home.
Keywords: Pedodontics, Preventive dentistry and Special needs
See more of: Behavioral, Epidemiologic, and Health Services Research