Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date

August 2020

Conference Location

Minneapolis, MN - Virtual Conference


Short AbstractOccupational therapy faculty and students collaborated with an existing community based oral health care team, Ready Set Smile, which provides oral health services and education to children in preschool and elementary school settings. The goals of the project were to expand the oral health knowledge of allied health care workers, to increase knowledge and perceptions of the roles of the interprofessional team members in oral health care services, and to provide family education to the families of children at high risk for unmet dental needs. The preliminary outcomes of all three goal areas of this project will be shared along with their implications for interprofessional teaming in oral health care and the use of family based education for supporting changes in health behaviors.Long AbstractThe project involved interprofessional training through use of video learning modules to occupational therapy (OT) students and community health workers (CHW) to support oral health outcomes for young children and their families. The OT students and CHW rated their knowledge of oral health and team member roles and perceptions of the roles of interprofessional team members working with children and families on oral health prevention and management prior to the onset of the project and at project completion. Preliminary outcomes suggest that even short synchronous collaborative interprofessional sessions can change knowledge and perceptions of team member roles. Additional measures demonstrated the effectiveness of short video learning modules to increase knowledge and skills of allied health professionals in the area of oral health. In addition, the OT students and CHWs collaborated with preschool settings to develop child and caregiver education related to oral health. The preschool partners serve children from low socioeconomic populations who are at high risk for unmet dental needs and high levels of dental caries (Gold and Tomar, 2018). The use of school-based programs has been found to be a beneficial method of improving oral health outcomes for children (Alsumait et al., 2019; Haleem et al., 2016). In addition, an interprofessional approach has been shown to be beneficial for meeting the needs of underserved populations (Collins, 2016; Gold & Tomar, 2018; Kaur, 2019). The project team collaborated to develop evidence based practices including health literacy, caregiver education, and motivational interviewing. Educational materials and oral health supplies were mailed to families of children in high risk categories. Preliminary findings from caregiver responses will be shared as an outcome related to changes in knowledge and oral health behaviors. This project was funded by a grant from the Delta Dental Foundation of Minnesota and conducted in collaboration with St. Catherine University Faculty and Students and Ready, Set, Smile.