The impact of a community health advisor-based intervention on self-reported frequency of dental visits in a rural, low income African American Alabama community
Oral health disparities are wide and increasing for rural Southern African-
Americans. This project trained 13 experienced Community Health Advisors (CHAs)
from Uniontown, Alabama, in the basics of oral health, including regular dental visits,
and assigned them to spread this information among their fellow community members.
We tested whether a 1-year CHA-based oral health education intervention was
associated with increased routine/preventive use of available dental services as measured
by pre-post self-report, relative to a comparison community. We also hypothesized that
any detected association between the intervention and use of dental services was
mediated by attitudes toward dental visits.
No direct association was found between the intervention and use of dental
services; however, a post hoc analysis revealed an indirect association between
intervention and use, via attitudes toward the cost of a dental visit.
It can be concluded that a CHA-based intervention successfully influenced
community attitudes toward dental visits, and these attitudes were, in turn, positively
associated with use of dental services. While the data did not indicate a direct effect of
the intervention on the use-of-services outcome, it appears the intervention may have
indirectly affected this outcome via attitudes. More rigorous outcome-based evaluations
of CHA-based interventions generally are needed.
School:University of Alabama at Birmingham
School Location:USA - Alabama
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:african americans community health services promotion oral socioeconomic factors
Date of Publication: