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Strengthen the Evidence for Maternal and Child Health Programs

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Martin AB, Hardin JW, Veschusio C, Kirby HA. Differences in dental service utilization by rural children with and without participation in Head Start. Pediatr Dent. 2012;34(5):107-111. Access Abstract

NPM: 13-2: Oral Health in Childhood
Intervention Components (click on component to see a list of all articles that use that intervention): SCHOOL, Head Start Participation
Intervention Description: The purpose of this study was to assess differences in dental and medical care utilization for dental problems between rural Head Start (HS) participants and a nonexposed group.
Conclusion: Head Start participants accessed dental care with greater frequency than the nonexposed group. Findings provide evidence that Head Start grantees positively impact dental service utilization for their children. Future research should examine the programmatic features to which the outcomes can be attributed and whether utilization trends continue after Head Start completion.
Study Design: QE: nonequivalent control group
Significant Findings: Yes
Setting: 7 counties in SC
Target Audience: Children enrolled in Medicaid for at least 9 of 12 months for each year of the study period
Data Source: Medicaid claims and enrollment data
Sample Size: Exposed (n=985) Unexposed (n=1,969)
Age Range: not specified


This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.