Pediatric Residents' Knowledge and Comfort With Oral Health Bright Futures Concepts: A CORNET Study
OBJECTIVE: Training residents in oral health helps eliminate disparities and improves access. The American Academy of Pediatrics Bright Futures Guidelines curriculum is used as a training guide. We assessed knowledge, confidence, and perceived barriers to incorporating Bright Futures oral health concepts into well-child care for children below 3 years in a national sample of pediatric residents. METHODS: A sample of postgraduate year 1 and 2 residents from CORNET sites completed demographic, Bright Futures oral health concepts confidence and knowledge cross-sectional surveys before any intervention. Measures were tested for reliability using Cronbach's alpha coefficient. RESULTS: One hundred sixty-three residents from 28 CORNET sites completed the surveys. One third reported no prior training in oral health. Time (42%) and knowledge (33%) led the perceived barriers to addressing these concepts in well visits. Although 63% rated their confidence as excellent in identifying tooth decay risk factors, a significant percentage rated their oral health risk assessment skills as poor or neutral (64%) and identifying caries at examination (53%). Only 49% conveyed oral health messages during encounters and 80% correctly scored 75% or higher on knowledge questions. CONCLUSIONS: This cross-sectional study shows that residents from a wide geographic range have high self-reported oral health knowledge but low perceived skills and competency in clinical implementation. Lack of time and knowledge in identifying caries led the perceived barriers. Barriers are addressed by implementing oral health curricula that promote competence and skill-development. This study helps programs effectively implement Bright Futures concepts to train graduates to incorporate oral health in well visits.
School of Medicine