Paper: Collaboration for Innovation in Community Oral Health (9th World Congress on Preventive Dentistry (September 8-10, 2009))

26 Collaboration for Innovation in Community Oral Health

Location: Grand Ballroom Foyer (Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa)
J. ALBINO, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO, R. GARCIA, Boston University, Boston, MA, J.A. WEINTRAUB, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, and S.A. GANSKY, University of California - San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
The NIDCR-funded Collaborating Centers for Research to Reduce Oral Health Disparities represent an innovative approach to understanding determinants of oral health disparities, conducting research to address disparities, and translating research findings into action. Objectives: Originally funded as separate Centers at the University of California, San Francisco (U54DE019285), the University of Colorado Denver (U54DE019259), and Boston University (U54DE019275), this Collaborative has taken on the unusual and challenging task of working across wide geographical distances to design coordinated research studies that insure maximum comparability and validity. A common Data Coordinating Center is managed at UCSF. Methods: In six initial randomized clinical trials, the Centers are testing culturally appropriate interventions focused on preventing Early Childhood Caries (ECC) in vulnerable and minority populations, sharing common baseline and outcome measures, and important moderating and mediating variables. Three studies involve the use of fluoride varnish in community settings; two involve the use of community workers to deliver an intervention; two involve motivational interviewing in a community setting; all involve extensive community participation. There is a wide variety of study sites (i.e. community health centers with medical and dental providers, participants' homes, educational and social service agency settings). American Indian, Latino, and African-American populations are participating, as well as other underserved groups of young children and their families. Results: Common measures across studies that allow the Centers to address the effectiveness of different interventions with common goals, distinctive aspects of research designs, and innovative means of insuring community-based participation will be presented. Conclusions: This challenging research process is leading to comparisons of the effectiveness of a variety of approaches and their use in populations that differ in needs, cultural expectations, and access to services. Characteristics of underserved populations, as well as product and process considerations, will play determining roles in the acceptability and effectiveness of preventive interventions