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HELSEVEL-Gode og effektive helse-, omsorgs- og velferdstjenester

Innovation, Children at risk and oral health

Alternative title: Innovasjon, Barn i risiko og oral helse

Awarded: NOK 6.7 mill.

Background Traumatic experiences during childhood and adolescence may have serious and lifelong consequences. Children exposed to one or more forms of violence, abuse and/or neglect have an increased risk of developmental disorders, as well as developing serious mental and physical disorders. Victimized children and adolescents are also at greater risk of having impaired oral health, a great need for dental treatment, lack of attendance at the dental health service, development of dental treatment refusal. To prevent and reduce the consequences of violence, abuse or neglect, prevention, early detection, and follow-up are important. Children at risk and oral health, aims at detection and follow-up of vulnerable children and adolescents. Objectives The research project will strengthen the public dental health services, child welfare services and the children’s advocacy centers in their statutory work to prevent, detect and safeguard children who are exposed to violence, abuse and neglect. Through systematic, interdisciplinary research and innovation, Children at risk and oral health will increase knowledge and competence related to vulnerable children, their oral health and how collaborative services can improve detection, adapted treatment and follow-up. The research project includes national surveys among dental health personnel in Norway and the USA, evaluation (RCT) of a new innovative training program and record studies. Findings from the research project will form the basis for the development of future innovations, that will contribute to interdisciplinary, coordinated and appropriate follow-up of victimized children and adolescents. Interdisciplinary Children at risk and oral health, include user groups, experts and researchers from various services, organizations and administrative levels, all with solid knowledge and experience regarding maltreated children. Together, we will strive to improve society's ability to detect and safeguard children at risk.

Child maltreatment is among the foremost causes of health inequality. To fight this global challenge and fulfil the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 19, there is a need to increase knowledge about the different forms of child maltreatment, how to prevent it, how to detect it, what consequences it might bring and how to follow up with victimized children. A society-based approach is necessary, including structured inter-and multidisciplinary collaboration among the professions working with children and families. Children at risk and oral health is a novel research project with high ambitions, as it relates to children at risk in three different organization at three administrative levels, including CWS on the municipality level, PDHS on the county level, and CAC on the state level. The link between the organizations is that they all work with the most vulnerable among us, children being victims of one or several forms of child maltreatment. Through research and innovations, exploiting experiences in and between the PDHS, the CWS, and the CACs the project aims to increase knowledge, competence and understanding of child maltreatment and establish closer and research-based cooperation between the organizations. Children at risk and oral health include three work packages: M1:Longitud data from two national surveys in the PDHS in Norway (2014 and 2019) and cross-sectional data from a national survey among pediatric dentists in USA (2021) M2:Retrospective record study of the public dental records of children enrolled at CAC M3:Cluster RCT, effect study of a digital training program for PDHP, and dental students, Kunnskapsreisen. Based on the research results, innovation in terms of a: -digital training program for PDHS, CWS, CAC, and their educational institutions -multidisciplinary cooperation model for the PDHS, CWS, CAC in Norway will be developed.

Funding scheme:

HELSEVEL-Gode og effektive helse-, omsorgs- og velferdstjenester