Oral health training, knowledge, attitudes and practices of primary care paediatricians: a European survey
Oral health is an essential component of children’s general health. The aim of this study is to evaluate the training, knowledge, attitudes and practices of primary care paediatricians in oral health in Europe. Paediatricians were invited to complete a survey on the web. There was a 54.3% response rate. The oral health education of the responders was received mainly through continuing medical education and practical experience (51%) rather than in medical school or during paediatric residency training (33%). Twenty-four percent of the responders did not know that the first signs of caries were white spots on the surfaces of teeth. Although 98.8% of paediatricians check the oral health status of children, only 52% feel confident enough to identify dental caries. A large proportion of the paediatricians (43%) recommended a first dental visit for children above the age of 3 years and only 7% under 1 year of age.
What is Known:
• Oral health is an essential component of general health that influences the functional, psychological and social dimensions of a child’s well-being.
• Paediatricians are the leading providers of primary healthcare for children.
What is New:
• Paediatricians are familiar with some aspects of the oral health of children but are not confident in identifying the risk factors responsible for oral disease.
• The current postgraduate curriculum in Paediatrics should incorporate training on basic oral healthcare in children.
KeywordsOral health Paediatrician Training Knowledge Attitude Practices
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Pediatric Dentists
Continuing medical education
European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry
European Academy of Paediatrics Research in Ambulatory Setting Network
Early childhood decay
The authors would like to thank the EAPRASnet coordinators for their dedication and commitment. We would also like to express our thanks to all the members of EAPRASnet who have participated in our joint studies and were ready to share their invaluable experience and your precious time. Finally, we would like to acknowledge the contribution of Marios Phylactides in editing the article.
AH: Principal investigator. Study conception and design, analysing data and drafting the article.
ZG: Study conception. Designing and reviewing the article.
SdT: Designing and reviewing the article.
KM: Statistical analysis of the data and reviewing the article.
DVE: Data acquisition and reviewing the article.
RC: Study conception. Designing and drafting the article.
All authors read and approved the final manuscript
The survey was supported financially by an unrestricted educational grant from Colgate-Palmolive Europe Sarl. The sponsor had no role in the design of the study, in the collection, analysis and interpretation of the data, neither in the writing of the report nor in the decision to present the article for publication.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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