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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 102, Issue 1, pp 30–34 | Cite as

Exploring School Oral Health Outcomes and Neighbourhood Factors in Schools Participating in Ontario’s “Healthy Schools” Recognition Program

  • Vanessa E. MuirheadEmail author
  • Herenia P. Lawrence
Quantitative Research
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

Objectives

This ecologic study compared school-level oral health outcomes in schools participating in Ontario’s “Healthy Schools” program and nonparticipating schools in York Region, Ontario in 2007–2008 and examined the effect of neighbourhood socio-economic factors.

Method

School-aggregated data were obtained for all 243 elementary schools. York Region Public Health Unit provided oral health data from school dental screenings. We obtained information about schools participating in the Ontario’s “Healthy Schools” program from publicly accessible websites. Neighbourhood socio-economic data based on school postcodes were extracted from Statistics Canada (2006) census databases. School oral health outcomes included the percentage of children in each school requiring preventive care, non-urgent dental treatment, urgent dental treatment and children with ≥ two decayed teeth.

Results

One hundred and six elementary schools (42%) participated in Ontario’s “Healthy Schools” program in 2007–2008. Schools participating in the “Healthy Schools” program had a significantly lower percentage of children with ≥ two decayed teeth (p<0.001) and children requiring urgent dental treatment (p=0.004) than non-participating schools. School participation/neighbourhood socio-economic factors interactions showed that a significantly lower percentage of children in low-income “Healthy Schools” had preventive and urgent dental treatment needs and ≥ two decayed teeth than in low-income non-participating schools (p<0.001)

Conclusion

Schools participating in Ontario’s “Healthy Schools” program had better school oral health outcomes than non-participating schools. School neighbourhood socio-economic factors affected school oral health outcomes, which could suggest that schools situated in poorer neighbourhoods may benefit more from health promotion activities than schools situated in more affluent neighbourhoods.

Key words

Oral health schools health promotion socio-economic factors 

Résumé

Objectifs

Cette étude écologique compare les résultats de santé buccodentaire obtenus par les écoles de la région de York, en Ontario, ayant participé au programme « Écoles saines » de la province en 2007– 2008 et par les écoles non participantes. L’étude aborde aussi l’effet des facteurs socioéconomiques du quartier.

Méthode

Nous avons obtenu les données agrégées par école des 243 écoles primaires de la région de York. Le bureau de santé publique régional nous a fourni les données de santé buccodentaire des dépistages dentaires réalisés en milieu scolaire. Nos renseignements sur les écoles participant au programme « Écoles saines » de l’Ontario sont tirés de sites Web accessibles au public. Les données socioéconomiques par quartier, selon les codes postaux des écoles, sont extraites des bases de données du Recensement de Statistique Canada (2006). Les résultats de santé buccodentaire des écoles étaient: le pourcentage d’enfants de chaque école ayant eu besoin de soins préventifs, de soins dentaires non urgents et de soins dentaires urgents, et le pourcentage d’enfants ayant deux dents cariées ou plus.

Résultats

Cent six écoles primaires (42 %) ont participé au programme « Écoles saines » de l’Ontario en 2007–2008. Les écoles participantes affichaient des pourcentages significativement inférieurs d’enfants ayant deux dents cariées ou plus (p<0,001) et d’enfants exigeant des soins dentaires urgents (p=0,004) que les écoles non participantes. Les interactions entre la participation de l’école et les facteurs socioéconomiques du quartier montrent que dans les quartiers à faible revenu, le pourcentage d’enfants ayant eu besoin de soins dentaires préventifs et urgents et ayant deux dents cariées ou plus était significativement inférieur dans les « écoles saines » (p<0,001).

Conclusion

Les écoles ayant participé au programme « Écoles saines » de l’Ontario affichaient de meilleurs résultats de santé buccodentaire que les écoles non participantes. Les facteurs socioéconomiques du quartier de l’école ont eu une influence sur les résultats de santé buccodentaire des écoles, ce qui donne à penser que les écoles situées dans les quartiers pauvres profitent davantage des activités de promotion de la santé que les écoles des quartiers aisés.

Mots clés

santé buccodentaire établissement scolaire promotion de la santé facteurs socioéconomiques 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Dentistry, Barts and The London School of Medicine and DentistryQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Discipline of Dental Public Health, Department of Biological and Diagnostic Sciences, Faculty of DentistryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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