Promoting Oral Health for Mothers and Children: A Nurse Home Visitor Education Program
Judith Haber, Erin Hartnett, April Hille, and Jessamin Cipollina
The objective of this project was to determine if Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) nurses who received an oral health education session increased their oral health knowledge and practice behavior contributing to positive client oral health outcomes. A quasi-experimental design was used to investigate the impact of exposure to the oral health evidence-based curriculum on NFP nurses and clients. The oral health interventions took place during nurse home visits. The sample included 4 nurses from the Miami Florida NFP, a comparison group of 10 non-Miami NFP nurses, and 27 Miami NFP clients. A web-based 13-item nurse pre-post survey was used to assess the impact of oral health education on NFP nursesí oral health knowledge and practice behaviors. A 10-item pre-post telephone survey was conducted with NFP clients to assess their oral health behaviors for self and child. Following an oral health educational session, NFP nurses demonstrated an increase in their oral health knowledge and developed evidence-based oral health practice behaviors. Clients who were given oral health education incorporated this into their childcare, which was associated with significantly improved oral health outcomes. It is recommended that NFP nurses integrate oral health as a standard of patient care in home visit assessments, education, and documentation throughout pregnancy, infancy, and toddlerhood.