For Immediate Release Contact:
Kaylyn Kendall Dines
At UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School
Researchers Lead an International Study on
Children, Oral Health and Self Esteem with $1 Million Award from
Researchers at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New
Jersey (UMDNJ) are leading an international study to assess the
relationship between children's oral health status and their perceived
body image and quality of life.
The study, funded by a $1 million grant from the National Institute
for Dental and Craniofacial Research, is under the direction of
Dr. Hillary Broder, acting chair of the Department of Community
Health at the UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School.
Approximately 600 children between ages eight and 15 from the
United States and several other countries will participate in
the research project.
The purpose of the study is to evaluate how conditions and disorders
of the mouth and face influence a child's quality of life.
Dr. Broder said, "We will examine how a child's thoughts about
oral health shape his or her perceived body image and collect
information about how oral health disorders such as crooked teeth,
buck teeth, discolored teeth, bad breath, cavities, and clef lip
and palate influence a child's behavior, actions and sense of
The research team comprises dentists, public health researchers,
epidemiologists, sociologists and psychologists.
They have developed a Child Oral Health Impact Profile
(COHIP), a tool designed for linguistically and ethnically diverse
populations to measure and assess the relationship between oral
health and quality of life.
The researchers will use this survey instrument to identify
issues such as how oral health problems affect a child's ability
to interact with others. For example, are they teased or bullied?
Do they avoid meeting new people or have a high absenteeism rate
The team also will survey the parents or caregivers of their
pediatric patients and compare their responses to the children's
answers to determine the impact of these dental health problems
their children's quality of life.
In addition to the UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School, two other
universities in the United States are participating in the study
- New York University School of Medicine and Dentistry and the
University of Connecticut. The other participating sites are McGill
University and the University of Toronto, both in Canada; the
University of Otago School of Dentistry in New Zealand; ACTA in
The Netherlands; Universite d'Auvergne in France; University of
Sao Paulo in Brazil; Guy's Hospital Dental School in London; the
University of Hong Kong in China; and the University of Stellenbosch
in South Africa.
UMDNJ is the largest university of its kind in the nation. It
comprises the state's only three medical schools and dental school,
and also has schools of nursing, public health, health related
professions and biomedical sciences. The University offers 27
academic programs in health sciences. Its four main academic health
care campuses are located in Newark, Camden, Stratford and Piscataway/New
Brunswick, and it also has affiliations with more than 200 academic
and health care institutions throughout New Jersey. UMDNJ is dedicated
to the pursuit of excellence in: the undergraduate, graduate,
postgraduate and continuing education of health professionals
and scientists; the conduct of basic biomedical, psychosocial,
clinical and public health research, health promotion, disease
prevention and the delivery of health care; and service to the
citizens of New Jersey.