||Assoc Prof Peter Morris
|Project start/finish dates:
|For more information about this project please contact:
Aim/Goal of Project:
This study was conducted in collaboration with the Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health and the NT Department of Health and Families. The goal of the project was to develop, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of a community-oriented, primary health care intervention to prevent dental decay among pre-school children in Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. The cluster randomized design provided a practical approach to the problem of small numbers of children living in remote communities.
The results obtained from this research proposal makes an important contribution to the health care of Australian Aboriginal children and other disadvantaged children throughout the world. Initial analysis has been completed and community feedback took place between October –December 2009. The project found that children in remote communities will benefit from a broader range of preventive services than previously available.
Dental decay has been described as the most common chronic disease of childhood. Regrettably, Australian Aboriginal children have twice as many teeth affected by decay as other Australian children. The incidence of “early childhood caries” in Indigenous children living in remote communities in the Northern Territory (NT) is a major (and worsening) problem. Dental decay was the most common health issue identified by the NT Emergency Response child health checks. Currently, preschool children do not have access to dental care provided by the state/territory programs that target school-aged children.
The NT Department of Health and Families has rolled out the use of fluoride varnish as part of the “Healthy Under 5’s” program.
(these are the 2 published papers from the study so far, the first one is the primary publication)