Publications by authors named "Erin Masterson"

19 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Evaluation of a Clinical Decision Support Strategy to Increase Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Among Hospitalized Children Before Inpatient Discharge.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 07 1;4(7):e2117809. Epub 2021 Jul 1.

Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.

Importance: Hospitalized children are at increased risk of influenza-related complications, yet influenza vaccine coverage remains low among this group. Evidence-based strategies about vaccination of vulnerable children during all health care visits are especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Objective: To design and evaluate a clinical decision support (CDS) strategy to increase the proportion of eligible hospitalized children who receive a seasonal influenza vaccine prior to inpatient discharge.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This quality improvement study was conducted among children eligible for the seasonal influenza vaccine who were hospitalized in a tertiary pediatric health system providing care to more than half a million patients annually in 3 hospitals. The study used a sequential crossover design from control to intervention and compared hospitalizations in the intervention group (2019-2020 season with the use of an intervention order set) with concurrent controls (2019-2020 season without use of an intervention order set) and historical controls (2018-2019 season with use of an order set that underwent intervention during the 2019-2020 season).

Interventions: A CDS intervention was developed through a user-centered design process, including (1) placing a default influenza vaccine order into admission order sets for eligible patients, (2) a script to offer the vaccine using a presumptive strategy, and (3) just-in-time education for clinicians addressing vaccine eligibility in the influenza order group with links to further reference material. The intervention was rolled out in a stepwise fashion during the 2019-2020 influenza season.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Proportion of eligible hospitalizations in which 1 or more influenza vaccines were administered prior to discharge.

Results: Among 17 740 hospitalizations (9295 boys [52%]), the mean (SD) age was 8.0 (6.0) years, and the patients were predominantly Black (n = 8943 [50%]) or White (n = 7559 [43%]) and mostly had public insurance (n = 11 274 [64%]). There were 10 997 hospitalizations eligible for the influenza vaccine in the 2019-2020 season. Of these, 5449 (50%) were in the intervention group, and 5548 (50%) were concurrent controls. There were 6743 eligible hospitalizations in 2018-2019 that served as historical controls. Vaccine administration rates were 31% (n = 1676) in the intervention group, 19% (n = 1051) in concurrent controls, and 14% (n = 912) in historical controls (P < .001). In adjusted analyses, the odds of receiving the influenza vaccine were 3.25 (95% CI, 2.94-3.59) times higher in the intervention group and 1.28 (95% CI, 1.15-1.42) times higher in concurrent controls than in historical controls.

Conclusions And Relevance: This quality improvement study suggests that user-centered CDS may be associated with significantly improved influenza vaccination rates among hospitalized children. Stepwise implementation of CDS interventions was a practical method that was used to increase quality improvement rigor through comparison with historical and concurrent controls.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.17809DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8299313PMC
July 2021

The home air in agriculture pediatric intervention (HAPI) trial: Rationale and methods.

Contemp Clin Trials 2020 09 25;96:106085. Epub 2020 Jul 25.

Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States of America; Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States of America.

Background: Data addressing air quality effects on children with asthma in rural U.S. communities are rare. Our community engaged research partnership previously demonstrated associations between neighborhood NH and ambient PM and asthma in the agricultural lower Yakima Valley of Washington. As a next step, the partnership desired an intervention approach to address concerns about pediatric asthma in this largely Latino immigrant, farm worker community.

Objective: The Home Air in Agriculture Pediatric Intervention (HAPI) sought to examine the effectiveness of enrichment of an existing asthma education program with portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) cleaners designed to reduce PM and NH We investigated the effect of this enriched approach on these exposures and asthma health measures.

Design: We randomized children with poorly controlled asthma to a control arm (current asthma education program) or an intervention arm (current asthma education program + placement of two indoor air cleaners in the family's home). Outcomes included (1) 14-day integrated samples of indoor air contaminants (PM and NH) at baseline and one-year follow-up and (2) child asthma health metrics at baseline, midpoint (4-6 months) and one-year follow-up. These included the Asthma Control Test, symptoms days, clinical utilization, oral corticosteroid use, pulmonary function, fractional exhaled nitric oxide, and urinary leukotriene E concentration.

Discussion: To our knowledge, this is the first randomized HEPA cleaner intervention designed to assess NH as well as PM and to evaluate health outcomes of children with asthma in an agricultural region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cct.2020.106085DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7494646PMC
September 2020

Utilization of driving and other transportation rehabilitation in the National Health and Aging Trends Study.

Disabil Health J 2020 07 19;13(3):100911. Epub 2020 Feb 19.

Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, 722 West 168th Street, New York, NY, USA. Electronic address:

Background: As people age, their mobility begins to decrease. In an effort to maintain mobility, this population can seek out rehabilitation services with the goal of improving their driving. However, it is unclear who has sought out rehabilitation for this purpose.

Objective: To better understand, identify, and describe the characteristics of older adults who utilize rehabilitation with the purpose of improved driving.

Methods: Data was analyzed from the fifth round of the National Health and Aging Trends study (NHATS), which is made up of Medicare beneficiaries over the age of 65 that are community-dwelling. Rehabilitation utilization specifically for improved driving and other transportation was analyzed. Adjusted weighted logistic regression was conducted to better understand and identify the characteristics of the study population that received rehabilitation services for the purpose of improved driving ability.

Results: Nineteen percent (N = 1,335) of this cohort received rehabilitation in the past year. Of those, 10% (N = 128) received rehabilitation to specifically improve driving and 2% (N = 25) did so to improve other transportation. Older adults who were single, separated, or never married were less likely to use rehabilitation for improving driving ability, compared to older adults who were married (OR: 0.29; 95% CI: 0.11-0.80).

Conclusion: Older adults who are married were more likely to report they wanted to improve their driving ability with rehabilitation. The role of rehabilitation services to improve driving among older adults will play a key role in the coming years as older adults strive to maintain their independence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dhjo.2020.100911DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7883993PMC
July 2020

Early life growth and adult telomere length in a Filipino cohort study.

Am J Hum Biol 2019 11 5;31(6):e23299. Epub 2019 Aug 5.

Department of Anthropology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Objective: We investigated the relationship between early life growth patterns and blood telomere length (TL) in adulthood using conditional measures of lean and fat mass growth to evaluate potentially sensitive periods of early life growth.

Methods: This study included data from 1562 individuals (53% male; age 20-22 years) participating in the Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey, located in metropolitan Cebu, Philippines. Primary exposures included length-for-age z-score (HAZ) and weight-for-age z-score (WAZ) at birth and conditional measures of linear growth and weight gain during four postnatal periods: 0-6, 6-12, and 12-24 months, and 24 months to 8.5 years. TL was measured at ~21 years of age. We estimated associations using linear regression.

Results: The study sample had an average gestational age (38.5 ± 2 weeks) and birth size (HAZ = -0.2 ± 1.1, WAZ = -0.7 ± 1.0), but by age 8.5 years had stunted linear growth (HAZ = -2.1 ± 0.9) and borderline low weight (WAZ = -1.9 ± 1.0) relative to World Health Organization references. Heavier birth weight was associated with longer TL in early adulthood (P = .03), but this association was attenuated when maternal age at birth was included in the model (P = .07). Accelerated linear growth between 6 and 12 months was associated with longer TL in adulthood (P = .006), whereas weight gain between 12 and 24 months was associated with shorter TL in adulthood (P = .047).

Conclusions: In Cebu, individuals who were born heavier have longer TL in early adulthood, but that birthweight itself may not explain the association. Findings suggest that childhood growth is associated with the cellular senescence process in adulthood, implying early life well-being may be linked to adult health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.23299DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6872908PMC
November 2019

Oral cancer examinations and lesion discovery as reported by U.S. general dentists: Findings from the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network.

Prev Med 2019 07;124:117-123

Eastman Institute for Oral Health, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, United States of America. Electronic address:

General dentists (GDs) have the opportunity to examine their patients for oral premalignancy/malignancy. We estimated the annualized per dentist number of oral lesions suspicious for premalignancy/malignancy discovered by United States (U.S.) general dentists and the annualized per dentist number of histologically-confirmed cancers subsequently diagnosed. Eligible participants were licensed, clinically-active U.S. GDs who were members of the U.S. National Dental Practice-Based Research Network. An a priori sample size of 900 was determined; 2000 GDs were invited to participate; 1,073 completed the study. Self-reported, cross-sectional data were obtained via an online questionnaire during 4/12/2017-8/31/2017 and analyzed. The reported numbers of suspicious oral lesions and histologically-confirmed oral cancer cases diagnosed over the previous six months were quantified. Potential outcome predictors were evaluated as covariates in multivariable analyses. Crude and adjusted statistics were produced by regressing each outcome on each independent variable while assuming a Poisson distribution, log link and utilizing robust standard errors. Eighty-seven percent of dentists reported discovering 1+ lesion suspicious for oral premalignancy/malignancy during the preceding six months. The mean number of suspicious lesions/dentist/year was 9.5; adjusted mean: 9.6. Fifteen percent of participants reported discovering 1+ lesion confirmed as cancer during the same period, 213 confirmed cancer cases/6 months or 426/year. Crude and adjusted mean numbers of histologically-confirmed oral cancers were both 0.4 cancers/dentist/year. Our findings suggest that many U.S. general dentists are actively identifying oral lesions suspicious for premalignancy/malignancy, thereby aiding in the discovery of oral malignancies and representing an important component in the frontline against cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2019.03.034DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6540813PMC
July 2019

Dental enamel defects predict adolescent health indicators: A cohort study among the Tsimane' of Bolivia.

Am J Hum Biol 2018 05 5;30(3):e23107. Epub 2018 Feb 5.

School of Dentistry, Department of Oral Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 98119.

Objectives: Bioarchaeological findings have linked defective enamel formation in preadulthood with adult mortality. We investigated how defective enamel formation in infancy and childhood is associated with risk factors for adult morbidity and mortality in adolescents.

Methods: This cohort study of 349 Amerindian adolescents (10-17 years of age) related extent of enamel defects on the central maxillary incisors (none, less than 1/3, 1/3 to 2/3, more than 2/3) to adolescent anthropometrics (height, weight) and biomarkers (hemoglobin, glycated hemoglobin, white blood cell count, and blood pressure). Risk differences and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using multiple linear regression. Enamel defects and stunted growth were compared in their ability to predict adolescent health indicators using log-binomial regression and receiver operating characteristics (ROCs).

Results: Greater extent of defective enamel formation on the tooth surface was associated with shorter height (-1.35 cm, 95% CI: -2.17, -0.53), lower weight (-0.98 kg, 95% CI: -1.70, -0.26), lower hemoglobin (-0.36 g/dL, 95% CI: -0.59, -0.13), lower glycated hemoglobin (-0.04 %A , 95% CI: -0.08, -0.00008), and higher white blood cell count (0.74 10 /L, 95% CI: 0.35, 1.14) in adolescence. Extent of enamel defects and stunted growth independently performed similarly as risk factors for adverse adolescent outcomes, including anemia, prediabetes/type II diabetes, elevated WBC count, prehypertension/hypertension, and metabolic health.

Conclusions: Defective enamel formation in infancy and childhood predicted adolescent health outcomes and may be primarily associated with infection. Extent of enamel defects and stunted growth may be equally predictive of adverse adolescent health outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.23107DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5980689PMC
May 2018

Diet, atherosclerosis, and helmintic infection in Tsimane.

Lancet 2017 11;390(10107):2034-2035

Department of Oral Health Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105, USA; Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)31945-1DOI Listing
November 2017

Malnutrition-related early childhood exposures and enamel defects in the permanent dentition: A longitudinal study from the Bolivian Amazon.

Am J Phys Anthropol 2017 10 28;164(2):416-423. Epub 2017 Jul 28.

School of Dentistry, Department of Oral Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, DC, 98119.

Objectives: We investigated the relationship between early childhood malnutrition-related measures and subsequent enamel defects in the permanent dentition.

Materials And Methods: This cohort study included 349 Amerindian adolescents (10-17 years, 52% male) from the Bolivian Amazon. Exposures included: stunted growth (height-for-age z-scores), underweight (weight-for-age z-scores), anemia (hemoglobin), acute inflammation (C-reactive protein) and parasitic infection (hookworm). We measured the occurrence (no/yes) and extent (<1/3, 1/3-2/3, >2/3) of enamel defects. We estimated associations between childhood exposures and enamel defect measures using log-binomial and multinomial logistic regression.

Results: The prevalence of an enamel defect characterized by an orange peel texture on a large central depression on the labial surface of the central maxillary incisors was 92.3%. During childhood (1-4 years), participants had a high prevalence of stunted growth (75.2%), anemia (56.9%), acute inflammation (39.1%), and hookworm infection (49.6%). We observed associations between childhood height-for-age (OR = 0.65; P = 0.028 for >2/3 extent vs. no EH) and gastrointestinal hookworm infection (OR = 3.43; P = 0.035 for >2/3 extent vs. no defects or <1/3 extent) with enamel defects.

Discussion: The study describes a possibly novel form of enamel hypoplasia and provides evidence for associations of malnutrition-related measures in early childhood, including stunted growth and parasitic helminth infection, with the observed enamel defects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23283DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5607097PMC
October 2017

Lower face asymmetry as a marker for developmental instability.

Am J Hum Biol 2017 Sep 11;29(5). Epub 2017 Apr 11.

Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, University of Washington, Health Sciences, Box 357446, Seattle, WA, 98115.

Objectives: Fluctuating asymmetries in the craniofacial skeleton have been shown to be predictive for mortality from degenerative diseases. We investigate whether lower face asymmetries are a potential marker for the developmental origins of health and disease.

Methods: The lower face of a representative sample of 6654 12- to 17-year old United States (US) adolescents (1966-1970, National Health Examination Survey III) was classified as asymmetric when the mandibular teeth occluded prognathically (forward) or retrognathically (backward) on one side of the face only. It was investigated whether these lower face asymmetries were directional (preferentially to the left or the right) or fluctuating (random left-right distribution) in the US population.

Results: Lower face asymmetries affected 1 in 4 of the US adolescents. Unilateral retrognathic dental occlusions were fluctuating asymmetries, had a US prevalence of 17.0% (95% confidence interval: 15.5-18.4) and were associated with race/ethnicity (P < .0001), not with handedness (P < .7607). Unilateral prognathic dental occlusions were directional asymmetries (P < .0001), had a US prevalence of 7.6% (95% confidence interval: 6.4-8.7) and were associated with large household size (P < .001) and handedness (P < .0223). Lower face asymmetries were not associated with distinct heritable traits such as color blindness.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that lower face asymmetries are a marker for environmental stress and cerebral lateralization during early development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.23005DOI Listing
September 2017

Maternal Allostatic Load, Caretaking Behaviors, and Child Dental Caries Experience: A Cross-Sectional Evaluation of Linked Mother-Child Data From the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Am J Public Health 2015 Nov 17;105(11):2306-11. Epub 2015 Sep 17.

Erin E. Masterson is with the Departments of Epidemiology and Oral Health Sciences, Schools of Public Health and Dentistry, University of Washington, Seattle. Wael Sabbah is with the Division of Population and Patient Health, Dental Institute, King's College London, London, UK.

Objectives: We evaluated the associations between chronic maternal stress measured by allostatic load (AL), maternal caretaking behaviors, and child dental caries experience. We also assessed the role of socioeconomic status in these associations.

Methods: We used data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988-1994). We included children aged 2 to 6 years who linked to a maternal record (n = 716 maternal-child pairs). The main exposure was maternal AL index (0, 1, or ≥ 2). The primary outcome of interest was child dental caries experience (none or any). We evaluated the association between maternal AL and (1) maternal caretaking behaviors, and (2) child caries status and the role of socioeconomic status in these relationships.

Results: Children of mothers with an AL index of at least 2 were significantly more likely to have not been breastfed and to have dental caries than were children of mothers with a normal AL before adjusting for measures of socioeconomic status.

Conclusions: Maternal chronic stress, indicated by elevation in markers of AL, has an important role in child caretaking behaviors and in children's oral health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2015.302729DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4605161PMC
November 2015

Cervical cancer screening and follow-up in 4 geographically diverse US health care systems, 1998 through 2007.

Cancer 2015 Sep 18;121(17):2976-83. Epub 2015 May 18.

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Background: Cervical cancer screening and follow-up guidelines have changed considerably in recent years, but to the authors' knowledge few published reports exist to estimate the impact of these changes in community-based settings. The authors examined the patterns and results of cervical cancer testing and follow-up over a decade in 4 geographically diverse US health care systems to inform the future evaluation of changes resulting from increased uptake of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination.

Methods: The authors studied women aged 21 to 65 years who were members of one of these health systems at any time between 1998 and 2007. Data were collected and standardized across sites, based on receipt of Papanicolaou (Pap) and HPV tests, HPV vaccination, cervical biopsies, and treatment of cervical dysplasia. Annual rates (per 1000 person-years) of Pap testing, HPV testing, and cervical biopsy and treatment procedures were calculated. Screening intervals and trends in the results of screening Pap tests and cervical biopsies also were examined.

Results: Pap testing rates decreased (from 483 per 1000 person-years in 2000 to 412 per 1000 person-years in 2007) and HPV testing rates increased over the study period. Screening frequency varied across health care systems, and many women continued to receive annual testing. All 4 sites moved to less frequent screening over the study period without marked changes in the overall use of cervical biopsy or treatment.

Conclusions: Despite differences over time and across health plans in rates of cervical cancer testing and follow-up cervical procedures, the authors found no notable differences in Pap test results, diagnostic or treatment procedure rates, or pathological outcomes. This finding suggests that the longer screening intervals did not lead to more procedures or more cancer diagnoses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.29445DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4545722PMC
September 2015

Non-traumatic Dental Condition-Related Emergency Department Visits and Associated Costs for Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

J Autism Dev Disord 2015 May;45(5):1396-407

Department of Oral Health Sciences, University of Washington School of Dentistry, Box 357475, Seattle, WA, 98195-7475, USA.

We analyzed 2010 US National Emergency Department Sample data and ran regression models to test the hypotheses that individuals with ASD are more likely to have non-traumatic dental condition (NTDC)-related emergency department (ED) visits and to incur greater costs for these visits than those without ASD. There were nearly 2.3 million NTDC-related ED visits in 2010. Less than 1.0% (children) and 2.1% (adults) of all ED visits were for NTDC. There was no significant difference in NTDC-related ED visits or costs for children by ASD status. Adults with ASD had significantly lower odds of NTDC-related ED visits (OR 0.39; 95% CI 0.29, 0.52; p < 0.001) but incurred significantly greater mean costs for NTDC-related ED visits (p < 0.006) than did adults without ASD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10803-014-2298-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4409459PMC
May 2015

Preventive dental health care experiences of preschool-age children with special health care needs.

Spec Care Dentist 2015 Mar-Apr;35(2):68-77. Epub 2014 Jul 31.

Department of Health Services, Northwest Center to Reduce Oral Health Disparities, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Purpose: This study examined the preventive dental health care experiences of young children with special needs and determined the feasibility of conducting clinical dental examinations at a community-based early intervention services center.

Methods: Study methods included 90 parent interviews and dental examinations of their preschool-age children.

Results: Thirteen percent of the children received optimal preventive care, defined as twice daily tooth brushing with fluoridated toothpaste and two preventive dental visits in the prior 12 months; 37% experienced care that fell short in both areas. Optimal care was more common among children of parents who reported tooth brushing was not a struggle and those with a personal dentist. Parents' opinion of the study experience was generally positive.

Conclusions: Few children with special needs receive effective preventive care early, when primary prevention could be achieved. Barriers to optimal care could be readily addressed by the dental community in coordination with early intervention providers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/scd.12084DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4312543PMC
December 2016

U.S. emergency department admissions for nontraumatic dental conditions for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Intellect Dev Disabil 2014 Jun;52(3):193-204

The authors hypothesized that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) are more likely to have an emergency department (ED) admission for nontraumatic dental conditions (NTDCs). The authors analyzed 2009 U.S. National Emergency Department Sample data and ran logistic regression models for children ages 3-17 years and adults age 18 years or older. The prevalence of NTDC-related ED admissions was 0.8% for children and 2.0% for adults. Children with IDDs were at increased odds of NTDC-related ED admission, but this difference was not statistically significant (odds ratio [OR]  =  1.06; 95% confidence interval [CI]  =  0.91, 1.23). Adults with IDDs had significantly lower odds of an ED admission for NTDCs (OR  =  0.49; 95% CI  =  0.44, 0.54). Children with IDDs are not at increased odds of NTDC-related ED admissions, whereas adults with IDDs are at significantly reduced odds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1352/1934-9556-52.3.193DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4097187PMC
June 2014

Shades of Decay: The Meanings of Tooth Discoloration and Deterioration to Mexican Immigrant Caregivers of Young Children.

Hum Organ 2014 ;73(1):82-93

Division of Oral Epidemiology and Dental Public Health in the Department of Preventive & Restorative Dental Sciences at UCSF.

The objective of this article is to investigate parental understanding of tooth discoloration and decay and their related care seeking for young, Mexican-American children. The research design entailed semi-structured, face-to-face interviews conducted in Spanish with a convenience sample of 37 Mexican immigrant mothers of young children in a low-income urban neighborhood. Five major color terms - white, off-white, yellow, brown, and black - were used to describe tooth discoloration, the causes of which were mainly unrecognized or attributed to poor oral hygiene and exposure to sweet substances. Mothers also described three major levels of deterioration of the structural integrity of teeth due to caries, from stains to decayed portions to entirely rotten. A trend was observed between use of darker discoloration terms and extensive carious lesions. Teeth described as both dark in color and structurally damaged resulted in seeking of professional care. The paper concludes with the finding that Spanish terms used to describe tooth discoloration and carious lesions are broad and complex. Mexican immigrant mothers' interpretations of tooth discoloration and decay may differ from dental professionals' and result in late care seeking. Increased understanding between dental practitioners and caregivers is needed to create educational messages about the early signs of tooth decay.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.17730/humo.73.1.861831136642q074DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4537173PMC
January 2014

Socioeconomic status, food security, and dental caries in US children: mediation analyses of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2007-2008.

Am J Public Health 2014 May 13;104(5):860-4. Epub 2014 Mar 13.

Donald L. Chi, Erin E. Masterson, Lloyd A. Mancl, and Susan E. Coldwell are with the Department of Oral Health Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Washington, Seattle. Adam C. Carle is with the Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, and the Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.

Objectives: We examined associations of household socioeconomic status (SES) and food security with children's oral health outcomes.

Methods: We analyzed 2007 and 2008 US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data for children aged 5 to 17 years (n = 2206) to examine the relationship between food security and untreated dental caries and to assess whether food security mediates the SES-caries relationship.

Results: About 20.1% of children had untreated caries. Most households had full food security (62%); 13% had marginal, 17% had low, and 8% had very low food security. Higher SES was associated with significantly lower caries prevalence (prevalence ratio [PR] = 0.77; 95% confidence interval = 0.63, 0.94; P = .01). Children from households with low or very low food security had significantly higher caries prevalence (PR = 2.00 and PR = 1.70, respectively) than did children living in fully food-secure households. Caries prevalence did not differ among children from fully and marginally food-secure households (P = .17). Food insecurity did not appear to mediate the SES-caries relationship.

Conclusions: Interventions and policies to ensure food security may help address the US pediatric caries epidemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2013.301699DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3987603PMC
May 2014

Maternal beliefs and motivations for first dental visit by low-income Mexican American children in California.

Pediatr Dent 2011 Sep-Oct;33(5):392-8

Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, History and Social Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, USA.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine Mexican American immigrant caregivers' beliefs and motivations surrounding the first dental visit for their young children (median age=5-years-old).

Methods: Qualitative interviews were conducted among a convenience sample of 48 low-income, Mexican American mothers about their young children's oral health. Transcripts were independently read, coded, and thematically analyzed.

Results: Half (51%) of first dental visits were for parent-initiated reasons, including: for pain or visible dental problems; for parent's proactive desire to get a checkup; or to avoid future dental problems. The other half was initiated by external prompts, especially pediatrician recommendations and school requirements. Once a child went to the dentist for his/her first visit, 94% continued with regular checkups. The mean age for a first dental visit was 3-years-old. Three parents reported cases in which dentists discouraged visits for symptomatic children before they were 3-years-old.

Conclusions: The low-income, urban Mexican American parents interviewed take their children to their first dental visit when they are approximately 3-years-old, much later than the recommended 1-year-old first visit for this at-risk population. Physicians are well positioned to play an important role in prompting first dental visits.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3536823PMC
December 2011

Urban Mexican-American mothers' beliefs about caries etiology in children.

Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2010 Jun 10;38(3):244-55. Epub 2010 Feb 10.

Department of Preventive & Restorative Dental Sciences and Center to Address Disparities in Children's Oral Health, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA Department of Anthropology, History & Social Medicine and Center to Address Disparities in Children's Oral Health, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Objectives: Caries is a severe condition which disproportionately affects Latino children in the US. This study sought contextual understanding of urban, low-income Mexican-American mothers' beliefs, perceptions, knowledge and behavior surrounding causes of caries.

Methods: In urban San José, CA, a qualitative study was conducted with a convenience sample of Mexican-American mothers of young children about their beliefs and knowledge about the causes of caries. Audio-taped in-depth interviews with open-ended questions, primarily in Spanish, were translated to English and then transcribed verbatim. Texts were independently read and thematically analyzed by two researchers.

Results: Even while expressing uncertainty, all 48 mothers mentioned specific causes of caries, most frequently citing candy or juice consumption (85%), poor oral hygiene (65%) and use of the bottle (52%). Mothers rarely recognized cariogenic foods beyond candy, did not know or perform recommended oral hygiene routines, and demonstrated confusion and uncertainty about exactly how baby bottles are detrimental to teeth. Nearly half of these mothers also mentioned secondary cavity causes, such as genetics, lack of calcium, not going to the dentist or lack of fluoride. Mothers did not mention the role of bacteria. While mothers recognized that oral hygiene can counteract the detrimental effects of candy consumption, they did not recognize its beneficial effects in other contexts. Nor did they know about other preventive activities.

Conclusions: Mothers recognized the three major important factors causing caries: sugar consumption, poor oral hygiene and bottle use. However, their knowledge is limited in depth and specificity which restricts development of caries prevention behaviors. More comprehensive education is needed, including about caries prevention (oral hygiene) behaviors, which could lead to an increased sense of self-efficacy with respect to their children's oral health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0528.2009.00528.xDOI Listing
June 2010

Mexican American mothers' initiation and understanding of home oral hygiene for young children.

Pediatr Dent 2009 Sep-Oct;31(5):395-404

Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, USA.

Purpose: To investigate caregiver beliefs and behaviors as key issues in the initiation of home oral hygiene routines. Oral hygiene helps reduce the prevalence of early childhood caries, which is disproportionately high among Mexican-American children.

Methods: Interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of 48 Mexican-American mothers of young children in a low income, urban neighborhood. Interviews were digitally recorded, translated, transcribed, coded and analyzed using standard qualitative procedures.

Results: The average age of tooth brushing initiation was 1.8 +/- 0.8 years; only a small proportion of parents (13%) initiated oral hygiene in accord with American Dental Association (ADA) recommendations. Mothers initiated 2 forms of oral hygiene: infant oral hygiene and regular tooth brushing. For the 48% of children who participated in infant oral hygiene, mothers were prompted by pediatrician and social service (WIC) professionals. For regular tooth brushing initiation, a set of maternal beliefs exist about when this oral hygiene practice becomes necessary for children. Beliefs are mainly based on a child's dental maturity, interest, capacity and age/size.

Conclusions: Most (87%) of the urban Mexican-American mothers in the study do not initiate oral hygiene practices in compliance with ADA recommendations. These findings have implications for educational messages.
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February 2010
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