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Title: Effectiveness of a global oral health programme targeting 6-7 year old primary schoolchildren in NW England, UK
Author: Cooper, Anna Mary
ISNI:       0000 0000 6646 6744
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2015
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Overall aim of thesis: To evaluate the effectiveness of a pre-designed school oral health programme (SOHP), aimed at the establishment of sustained twice-daily toothbrushing. Methodology: A unique aspect of this thesis was the use of a child-centred mixed-method design, targeting 6–7 year olds. Study one: Piloted a new portfolio of research tools (n=97, in 3 schools), to test the suitability of intervention materials for use in UK schools, and to provide initial contextual understanding of children’s knowledge around oral health. Study two: Evaluated a complex SOHP, using a one-month exploratory matched-cluster controlled trial (n=8 intervention and n=5 control clusters, n=256 children n=256), with a 6 month follow-up. Study three: Validated a children’s self-report questionnaire (n=108, 5 schools) against an objective measure (data loggers) in a one-month test-retest study. Results: Study one: there were a number of changes made to two of the three research tools (children’s focus groups and draw & write); and some initial changes were made to the SOHP materials. Study two: the current SOHP produced no overall intervention effect relating to children’s plaque outcomes and self-reported brushing rates. Post-intervention there was a significant association between sugar-snacking behaviour and group in favour of the intervention group, although this was not sustained at follow-up. Overall the intervention group’s knowledge improved, along with sub-cohorts reporting positive changes in toothbrushing behaviour. Study three: The children’s questionnaire showed good reliability across the 2-week test-retest period, but showed a statistically non-significant association between subjective and objective measures. Objective brushing behaviour highlighted the difference between weekday and weekend brushing rates, with children’s average brushing time being 71.93 seconds. Conclusion: 6–7 year olds are capable of being active participants and effectively expressing their current knowledge and behaviours regarding OH, hygiene and nutrition in research when provided with suitable research tools. Transferring a SOHP into the home is challenging but necessary to improve effectiveness. The use of data loggers can potentially aid evaluations by complementing self-report and providing objective feedback to children, parents and stakeholders.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Unilever Oral Care
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Health and Wellbeing