Background to Teeth Tales

Teeth Tales was a community-based participatory study addressing child oral health for Australian families from migrant backgrounds. It was conducted by the University of Melbourne, Australia in partnership with Merri Community Health Services, Dental Health Services Victoria, Arabic Welfare, Victorian Arabic Social Services (VASS), Pakistani Association Australia Melbourne, Moreland City Council, Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health, North Richmond Community Health, and Yarra City Council. There were three phases to the study: Phase 1 – initial qualitative research (2006-2009); Phase 2 - piloting of the proposed intervention (2010-2011); Phase3 (ARC funded) - the exploratory trial of the intervention (2012-2014).

The CBPR Model (see model) was adapted by Teeth Tale partners in 2014 in the final stages of the study as a representation of our study experiences. By reflecting on the Model dimensions, keeping relevant constructs and adding our own, we found it a useful summary exercise to identify and assess our most important partnering practices and outcomes.

Here is a brief summary of Teeth Tales, and information about our website and published article. We would hope to use the Model to guide future formative stages of new research.

Setting and Participants
The target population for Teeth Tales were families with 1-4 year old children, self-identifiedfrom Iraqi, Lebanese or Pakistani backgrounds residing in metropolitan Melbourne.

Trial aims and objectives
The aim of the phase 3 exploratory trial was to establish a model for feasible, replicable and affordable child oral health promotion for culturally diverse local government areas in Australia.

Intervention
The intervention comprised peer educator led community oral health education sessions and reorienting of dental health and family services through Cultural Competency Organizational Review.

Participation
115 migrant women living in Moreland and Hume participated in Phase 1
]78 families from Oromo, Sudanese, Vietnamese and other backgrounds residing in North Richmond participated in Phase 2
521 families from Lebanese, Iraqi and Pakistani communities of Melbourne in Phase 3

Study Principal Investigator:
Lisa Gibbs, Associate Professor
Deputy Director, Jack Brockhoff Child Health & Wellbeing Program
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne
Level 5, 207 Bouverie Street, Carlton, 3053
Tel: +61 3 8344 0920, 0439 393 917
Email: lgibbs@unimelb.edu.au 
http://child-health.mspgh.unimelb.edu.au/research_areas/oral_health/teeth_tales

Gibbs L, Waters E, Christian B, et al. Teeth Tales: a community-based child oral
health promotion trial with migrant families in Australia. BMJ Open 2015;5:e007321.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-007321

Gibbs L, Waters E, de Silva A, Riggs E, Moore L, Armit C, Johnson B,
Morris M, Calache H, Gussy M, Young D, Tadic M, Christian B, Gondal I,
Watt R, Pradel V, Truong M, Gold L. An exploratory trial implementing
a community based child oral health promotion intervention for Australian
families from refugee and migrant backgrounds: A protocol paper for Teeth Tales.
BMJ Open. 2014;4:e004260. 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004260