A Survey of Georgia Diabetes Educators’ Knowledge and Behaviors on Oral Health Education

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A Survey of Georgia Diabetes Educators’ Knowledge and Behaviors on Oral Health Education

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Since oral health is strongly linked to systemic health, especially diabetes, understanding oral health awareness by Certified Diabetes Educators (CDEs) is important for medical professional training and patient education. The purpose of this study was to determine the oral health knowledge and practice behaviors of (CDEs). In 2017, a 31-item questionnaire was used to survey CDEs practicing in Georgia. Questions were open and closed-ended and Likert-scale modified from a previous survey used in a similar study. From a population total of 480, 78 CDEs participated in the study with a 24% response rate. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. CDEs’ overall knowledge of oral health was high except for tooth decay and the bidirectional relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease. Forty-three percent of Georgia CDEs reported formal oral health education and 33% discussed oral health with their patients. Less than 25% of the patient population seen by CDEs were given dental referrals in the last year. The results show CDEs have a high oral health knowledge and understand the importance of oral health and collaboration, however, the CDE’s did not refer patients for dental care based on their perceptions of patients’ financial status. These findings highlight an opportunity for CDEs and dental professionals to collaborate to further their knowledge of oral health and improve patient outcomes by increasing referrals to dental clinics and prevention of other oral conditions.



University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. August 2019. Major: Dentistry. Advisor: Cynthia Stull. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 72 pages.

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McKune, Kendra. (2019). A Survey of Georgia Diabetes Educators’ Knowledge and Behaviors on Oral Health Education. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/259565.

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