Examining the need of culturally appropriate information on pediatric oral health for Chinese American families with young children in New York

Yaena Song, Ed.D1, Ashley Brodigan, DDS2, Cathy Chen, BS candidate3, Chantelle Tseng, BA candidate3, Angel Mui, MEd3, Xiolei Zott, MA3, Stella Chong, BA3, Christina Tsai, MBA4, Qiuqu Zhao, MD4 and Simona Kwon, DrPH, MPH3, (1)NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York, NY, (2)NYU Langone Health Dental Medicine, (3)NYU Grossman School of Medicine, (4)NYU Langone Family Health Centers

Theoretical Background and research questions/hypothesis: There is a lack of culturally-tailored and in-language oral health resources for Chinese American (CA) immigrants, the largest Asian American subgroup. In Sunset Park, also known as “Brooklyn’s Chinatown,” the CA pediatric population experiences poor oral health. This project aims to develop a culturally-tailored and in-language pediatric oral health education using a participatory health communication approach.

Methods: We conducted a mixed methods study, including: 1) a review of existing resources from the U.S., China, Hong Kong and Taiwan; 2) key informant interviews with providers from a safety net clinic serving a largely CA patient population and community stakeholders (n=8); 3) a focus group and interviews with CA parents (n=6); and 4) a listening session with CA bilingual community health workers (n=7). Data collection was guided by health communications approach and attuned to examining cultural domains of surface and deep culture.

Results: Findings validated the need for pediatric oral health education materials. Existing evidence-based resources were culturally adapted based on the findings at the surface and deep culture levels, including centering intergenerational households and school readiness for this target population. Workflows for pediatric dental referrals at the safety net clinic was examined for intervention points both in the pediatric medical and dental departments. Drafts of oral health education have been adapted based on the findings and will undergo user-review.

Conclusions: Findings informed a multilevel intervention to address this health disparities gap. Applying a participatory and culture-centered health communication approach will be key to developing meaningful and actionable education materials.

Implications for research and/or practice: The current project addresses the oral health disparity and need that exist among CA immigrant families, who have limited access to health care and resources. Findings informed the development of culturally adapted, in-language oral health materials that can be practically used by CA families.