Health Care Facility-based Settings

Health care facility-based interventions often entail oral health counseling by a health care provider in public or private health care settings (e.g., dental office, hospital, health department, or assisted living facility). These counseling sessions may require reminders or prompts for the provider to discuss oral diseases and conditions as well as related risk factors or health conditions. These interventions can also include training for health care providers on the importance of oral health promotion (e.g., brushing, flossing, nutrition, or smoking cessation). Some of the challenges in the health care setting include the limited time health care providers may have to visit with their individuals and the risk of information overload because of competing or related health priorities. Referrals to other community resources can also be an important part of interventions in health care settings.

Previous work in health care facility-based settings has found:

  • Providing media posters in hospitals and dental clinics helps remind providers to talk to their patients about engaging in proper oral health hygiene.
  • Healthcare facilities are effective places to educate mothers regarding proper oral health care, who bring in their infants for their developmental checkups.
  • Health care settings (e.g., hospitals, pharmacies, maternal clinics, dental clinics, WIC clinics, emergency rooms, newborn service providers, residential care facilities, and pediatrician clinics) are important settings for education interventions because of the natural provider-patient exchange.
  • Intervening in residential care facilities can reach an important population – institutionalized older adults – who are at high risk for developing complex oral disease.
  • Community health centers can reach low-income and racially diverse residents to provide oral health education interventions.
  • Because organizations in health care facility-based settings assess and store information on individuals, they are well-suited for individual education interventions because individual information is already collected and communication systems for these individuals are already in place. These settings make it easier to distribute individually tailored information to participants.

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