Back to top anchor

Effects of severe early childhood caries on Pacific Island families

4 months
Approved budget:
Miss Ashleigh Raikuna
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Pacific Health Summer Studentship
Lay summary
Despite being largely preventable, early childhood caries (ECC) continues to be one of the most prevalent diseases to affect young children. Early childhood caries is difficult to manage, and often requires children to undergo dental treatment under general anaesthesia (DGA). Around 6000 children per year require DGA in New Zealand, and this is associated with a costly burden to the public health sector. However this burden is not equally shared – Pacific children are significantly overrepresented among those with higher rates of hospital admission due to caries. This project aims to investigate the characteristics of Pacific Island children in the last five years who have had a DGA in Auckland; explore the parents’ experiences of the impact that severe ECC has on their child and family; and to understand what Pacific Island parents face in seeking dental care for their children and their cultural attitudes and understandings surrounding oral health.