Acculturation and its impact on the oral health status of Pacific children in New Zealand: findings from the Pacific Islands Families study

Schluter, Philip J. , Kanagaratnam, Sathananthan, Taylor, Steve and Tautolo, El-Shadan (2017) Acculturation and its impact on the oral health status of Pacific children in New Zealand: findings from the Pacific Islands Families study. Journal of Public Health Dentistry, . doi:10.1111/jphd.12202


Author Schluter, Philip J.
Kanagaratnam, Sathananthan
Taylor, Steve
Tautolo, El-Shadan
Title Acculturation and its impact on the oral health status of Pacific children in New Zealand: findings from the Pacific Islands Families study
Journal name Journal of Public Health Dentistry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1752-7325
0022-4006
Publication date 2017-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/jphd.12202
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Total pages 9
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objectives: Immigration and acculturation are increasingly recognized as important explanatory factors for health disparities, although their impact on oral health is less well understood. This study investigates the relationship between Pacific children's cultural orientation and oral health, after adjusting for potentially moderating and confounding variables.

Methods: The Pacific Islands Families (PIF) study follows a cohort of Pacific infants born in 2000. PIF study participants' data from their last dental examination were extracted from service records, and matched to the cohort. A bi-directional acculturation classification, derived from maternal reports, was related to children's oral health indices in crude and adjusted analyses.

Results: 1,376 children were eligible, of whom 922 (67.0 percent) had mothers born outside New Zealand. Matching was successful for 970 (70.5 percent) children, with mean age 12.2 years (range: 6.8, 15.4 years). Significant differences were found between acculturation groups for children's tooth brushing frequency and school dental service enrollments but these differences did not moderate relationships between acculturation and oral health status. Unmet treatment need was significantly different between acculturation groups, with children of mothers having higher Pacific orientation having worse unmet needs than those with lower Pacific orientation. No other significant differences were noted.

Conclusions: Pacific children carry a disproportionate oral health burden, particularly amongst those with mothers more aligned to their Pacific culture. Strategies which enable Pacific people to re-shape their oral health understanding, together with reducing barriers to accessing dental health care, are needed to prevent a legacy of poor oral health in Pacific people within New Zealand.
Keyword Acculturation
Epidemiology
Oral health
Pacific children
Public health dentistry
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
 
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