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Community Dent Health. 1993 Sep;10(3):243-9.

An evaluation of the role of health visitors in encouraging dental attendance of infants.

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Department of Oral Health and Development, University Dental Hospital, Manchester, UK.


A dental health campaign which aimed to increase the number of infants registered under capitation with general dental practitioners took place in the North Western Region. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of health visitors in encouraging dental attendance of this age group. Facilitators in each of the 7 districts involved worked with general dental practitioners and health visitors to ensure referred infants were accepted. Health visitors completed a data collection form with each referral so that the names could be checked for subsequent registrations. Parents of 3,165 children were contacted between January and May 1991. Of those 76 per cent (2,412) were referred to general dental practitioners, but only 21 per cent of those names that could be checked were traced to dentists' lists by the end of the study period. Only 40 per cent of those claimed to be registered could be identified. Most dentists said they would welcome further campaigns to increase attendance of infants. Health visitors agreed that early referrals were appropriate, and this campaign may have contributed to the high number of registrations of 0-2-year-olds in the North Western Region.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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