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Community Dent Health. 2019 Nov 28;36(4):286-292. doi: 10.1922/CDH_Hakojarvi07.

Child involvement in oral health education interventions - a systematic review of randomised controlled studies.

Author information

Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
Turku University Hospital, The Hospital District of Southwest Finland, Turku, Finland.



This systematic review examines elementary school-aged children's involvement in oral health interventions.


A systematic review of randomised controlled studies was carried out according to the PRISMA guidelines. PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, and Scopus databases were searched for publications listed between 2008-2018. The review was focused on randomised controlled studies investigating educational oral health interventions for elementary school-age children ages 6-12 years. Data were analysed using deductive content analysis using the Typology of Youth Participation and Empowerment model. The quality of reporting was assessed using the CONSORT checklist for randomised trials. The Cochrane risk of bias assessment tool was used to assess the risk of bias.


Eight studies were reviewed involving a total of 3232 children. The studies mostly represented the Vessel type of participation. Interventions usually consisted of researcher-designed tasks and assignments given to the children. No mentions of collaboration or consultation with children during the intervention design, implementation of the design, analysis or study process were found.


Children's views of oral health education and their potential role as active participants in the overall research process should be examined using qualitative methods prior to any intervention design. The use of participatory research methodology when planning pre-intervention studies and developing interventions, including ones with a randomised controlled trial design, is, therefore, recommended.


Children; health education; oral health; systematic review

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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