Dental home visits for caries prevention among preschool children: Protocol for a cost-effectiveness analysis on a randomized control trial

Niekla Survia Andiesta, Maimunah A. Hamid, K. K.C. Lee, Allan Pau

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    Background: In 2012, nearly 4000 children in Malaysia were referred to hospital pediatric dental services due to dental caries. Recent research has reported the effectiveness of dental home visits in preventing caries development in young children. Dental home visits (DHVs) are described as an ongoing relationship between the dentist and their patients, providing all aspects of a preventive oral health care program in the presence of the parents at home. Objective: The objective of this study is to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of dental home visits and oral health information, in the form of educational leaflets, in preventing new caries development in young children, compared to those receiving only educational leaflets over a period of two years. Cost-effectiveness analysis will be used to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of dental home visits. Methods: This is a collaborative project with the Oral Health Division of the Ministry of Health Malaysia. The Oral Health Division will provide access to a subsample from the National Oral Health of Preschoolers Survey which was carried out in 2015. The population of interest is children aged 5 and 6 years from kindergartens in the Selangor state of Malaysia. The study adopted a societal perspective for cost-effectiveness analysis and all types of resources that are of value to society will be included in analyzing the costs; such as cost to the patient, cost to the provider or institution, and indirect costs because of loss of productivity. Results: The trial has been approved by the International Medical University Malaysia’s Joint Research and Ethics Committee (Project ID: IMU R157-2014 [File III – 2016]). This trial is currently recruiting participants. Conclusions: The number of young children in Malaysia who have been referred to the hospital children’s dentistry service for severe caries is disturbing. The cost of dental treatment in young children is high due to the severity of the caries which require an aggressive treatment, and the need for general anesthesia or sedation. This study will provide information on the cost and effectiveness of DHVs in caries prevention of young children in Malaysia.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere10053
    Number of pages7
    JournalJMIR Research Protocols
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


    • Caries prevention
    • Cost-effectiveness analysis
    • Dental home visits
    • Preschool children

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