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Strengthening the evidence base for maternal and child health programs

New: MCH Best strategies database for sample ESMs

Evidence Tools
MCH Best. NPM 13.1: Oral Health in Pregnancy

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young woman receiving oral health examPatient Education/Counseling

MCH Strategy. Integrate oral health messages and strategies within existing community-based maternal and infant health programs.

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Overview. There is preliminary evidence that oral health education interventions (e.g., oral health education through instructive materials, provision of dental supplies to improve daily habits, encouragement of dental visits, and counseling and motivational interviewing to help navigate services) for pregnant women may increase receipt of dental visits. While these results are encouraging, more research is needed for conclusive results.1

Evidence. Emerging Evidence. Two studies evaluating education or counseling interventions targeting pregnant women show potential for effectiveness in increasing the receipt of dental visits. Access peer-reviewed evidence about education and counseling from the MCH Digital Library. (Read more about understanding evidence ratings).

Target Audience. Patients.

Outcome. Percentage of women who saw a dentist in past year or during pregnancy. For detailed outcomes related to each study supporting this strategy, click on the peer-reviewed evidence link above and read the "Intervention Results" for each study.

Examples from the Field. There are currently 7 ESMs across all states/jurisdictions that use this strategy directly or intervention components that align with this strategy. Access descriptions of these ESMs through the MCH Digital Library. You can use these ESMs to see how other Title V agencies are addressing the NPM.

Sample ESMs. Using the strategy “Integrate oral health messages and strategies within existing community-based maternal and infant health programs,” here are sample ESMs you can use as a model for your own measures using the Results-Based Accountability framework (for suggestions on how to develop programs to support this strategy, see The Role of Title V in Adapting Strategies):

Quadrant 1:
Measuring Quantity of Effort
("What/how much did we do?")

  • Number of pregnant women served by Title V community health workers that have a documented screening or referral for dental services.

Quadrant 2:
Measuring Quality of Effort
("How well did we do it?")

  • Percentage of pregnant women served by Title V community health workers that have a documented screening or referral for dental services.

Quadrant 3:
Measuring Quantity of Effect
("Is anyone better off?")

  • Number of pregnant women served by Title V community health workers that have a documented screening or referral for dental services and have received dental care during pregnancy.

Quadrant 4:
Measuring Quality of Effect
("How are they better off?")

  • Percentage of pregnant women served by Title V community health workers that have a documented screening or referral for dental services and have received dental care during pregnancy.

Note. ESMs become stronger as they move from measuring quantity to measuring quality (moving from Quadrants 1 and 3, respectively, to Quadrants 2 and 4) and from measuring effort to measuring effect (moving from Quadrants 1 and 2, respectively, to Quadrants 3 and 4).

Learn More. Read how to create stronger ESMs and how to measure ESM impact more meaningfully through Results-Based Accountability.


Reference:

1 Cibulka NJ, Forney S, Goodwin K, Lazaroff P, Sarabia R. Improving oral health in low-income pregnant women with a nurse practitioner-directed oral care program. J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2011;23(5):249-257

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.