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N Z Dent J. 2016 Dec;112(4):108-115.

An Investigation of the Views of Parents in Otago on Dental Care for Primary School-Aged Children by the Community Oral Health Service Prior to the Introduction of the Hub-Based Clinic System.



Prior to the introduction of the Southern District Health Board's reconfigured Community Oral Health Service in Otago, a project was undertaken with parents to investigate their knowledge, understanding and views of the historical School Dental Service and of the Community Oral Health Service that was being introduced.


Focus groups were run during 2011 in ten selected schools (parents with children in years 1-8) across two areas in Otago to represent ur ban and rural settings and to represent parents who were already travelling to dental services.


Parents valued the traditional School Dental Service in Otago highly, generally agreeing that the service based in schools was accessible and convenient for parents and children. Rural parents who had always taken their children to dental appointments viewed it as a normal process, accepting that there could not be a service located in every school. Parents were aware that facilities were out-of-date. They highlighted the challenges of locating therapists since they started moving from school to school in the later 1990s and felt it was difficult for children seeing different therapists at each recall. There were diverse views on the proposed new system. Some parents felt that school-aged children should go to dental clinics on their own or with peers, while other parents welcomed the opportunity to attend when their child was having health care.


It appears that the Community Oral Health Services should have an ongoing process to seek the views of parents and children about the service.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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