Designing a Communication Strategy Toward the Promotion of Children’s Oral Health Among Parents/Caretakers in Calamba City, Laguna, Philippines: An Action Research
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University of the Philippines Open University UP Open University, Brgy. Maahas, Los Banos, Laguna Philippines
University of the Philippines Los Banos
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1557
The core objective of the study was to determine the antecedent conditions to be considered in devising communication strategies to promote good oral health among preschool children in Calamba City, Laguna, Philippines. Survey research design was primarily used to gather data on communication factors and knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) from 177 parents/caretakers from 22 barangays in the city. Meanwhile, interviews with key informants were done to find out the city’s existing policies and programs. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Overall gaps in KAP were: 1) lack of knowledge on the ways to prevent or treat oral diseases; 2) negative attitude toward children’s oral health; and 3) unfavorable practices regarding children’s oral hygiene, dental visits, and diet. Thus, the communication objectives and core content of a prospective communication strategy must focus on the importance of taking care of children’s oral health and positive oral healthcare behaviors. The following communication approaches are proposed: awareness raising; information and knowledge sharing; community communication; and networking/linkaging and alliance building. Both interpersonal and media-based methods of communication are apt to be used. Oral health lectures/seminars will serve as the locomotive medium. Meanwhile, brochures, e-modules, posters/banners/stickers, and a Facebook page will serve as supporting materials. Dentists will also be tapped as resource persons seeing as they are not only subject matter experts; they are also parents/caretakers’ most preferred information source. These channels of information were found to have moderate to strong association with parents/caretakers KAP. Moreover, parents/caretakers who acquire information from the said channels were found to get higher mean scores in the knowledge test. Lastly, results suggest prioritizing less educated parents/caretakers, those who reside in rural barangays, and those who do not have enough financial capability. Based on statistical analysis, these parents/caretakers had significantly lower KAP levels.
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