Implementing an oral health tool and motivation interviewing tool to improve oral health care among type II diabetics on a northern plains reservation
Show, Jennifer Aurice
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Type II diabetes and periodontal disease are two common chronic diseases that have been shown to have a physiologically bi-directional relationship. In recent years, type II diabetes and periodontal disease have reached epidemic proportions throughout the United States; disproportionately affecting racial and ethnic minorities such as American Indians. American Indians often have diabetes rates that are two times the general U.S. population and periodontal disease rates that are equally as high. Adding to the oral health disparity in American Indian populations, accessing dental care is often limited making oral health preventive behaviors especially important. This project chose to examine oral health in a group of American Indian adults with type II diabetes focusing on 1) the identification of oral health status using the Oral Health Assessment Tool 2) the facilitation of oral health care to the local Indian Health Service agency and 3) supporting and improving preventive oral health behaviors through motivational interviewing. Participants took part in bi-weekly face-to-face motivational interviewing sessions with their oral health status being evaluated using the Oral Health Assessment Tool concurrently. Participants were referred to the local Indian Health Service agency for dental care based on Oral Health Assessment scores. Scores could range from 0 (good oral health) to 16 (poor oral health). The overall analysis of data found a slight improvement in average Oral Health Assessment Tool scores from 2.75 at baseline to 2.25 at three months. Content analysis of the motivational interviewing sessions found an increased interest among participants to improve oral health behaviors such as brushing for longer periods of time or a desire to quit smoking. The findings of this study are encouraging. While the Oral Health Assessment Tool scores did not improve by leaps and bounds, it does show promise for the use of motivational interviewing to improve preventive oral health behaviors in the American Indian population while also showing the ease of integrating the Oral Health Assessment Tool into general diabetes care.