Objectives : The objectives of this study were to: 1) examine the types and extent of advocacy by member of the AAPD; and 2) assess their attitudes towards various advocacy-related activities.
Methods : An internet-based survey was distributed via email to members of the AAPD currently in practice. The survey consisted of 19 questions, which elicited demographic information, advocacy training, attitudes towards advocacy, and past, recent, and current advocacy practices. The statistical analysis was conducted using the descriptive statistics gathered from each question, and chi squared analyses to detect significant associations between questions.
Results: A total 1046 of the 4234 targeted pediatric dentists responded to the survey, yielding a 25% response rate. 90% of participants agreed that being an advocate for children beyond the dental office was an appropriate role for pediatric dentists. While only 26% received specific training in advocacy in their residencies, 66% of respondents felt prepared to be effective advocates for children. Dentists who had the opportunity to experience legislative lobbying experience while in residency were more likely to have lobbied for oral health legislative changes (p<0.0004) and to have contacted policymakers regarding Medicaid and or CHIP (p<0.0002).
Conclusions: The majority of pediatric dentists felt it was important to engage in advocacy efforts for children’s oral health issues. There was a larger amount of participation in clinically-related advocacy activities as compared to non-clinical activities.
Keywords: Assessment, Behavioral science and Pedodontics
See more of: Behavioral, Epidemiologic, and Health Services Research