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A Formative Research Study of Physicians and Dentists Regarding Educational Resources to Reduce Intake of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Among Children
AuthorBrock, Aimee L.
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The purpose of this study was to conduct formative research regarding the development of additional educational resources for use in primary and dental care settings that are designed to reinforce the importance of limiting sugary drinks and to promote more healthful choices by parents/guardians. Primary care providers and dentists who treat young, school-aged children from low-income households in Washoe County, and who had previously ordered copies of the Rethink Your Drink campaign materials served as key informants. This study employed qualitative methods to obtain in-depth information from this audience to determine ways to improve existing educational resources, desired characteristics/features of other educational resources, preferences regarding the inclusion of resources in a tool-kit, and differences between preferences of primary care providers and dentists in regards to educational resources. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted using an interview guide specifically developed for this study. Research participants included six primary care physicians and five dentists. Verbatim transcripts of the interviews were coded and organized into categorizes for each of the educational resources being examined. The findings provided information regarding ways to improve the existing brochures as part of the Rethink Your Drink campaign including omitting specific content, enhancing the visual appeal, and translating the materials into several languages. Perceptions about the desired characteristics and features of other educational resources that may be useful in reducing children’s intake of sugar-sweetened beverages were also obtained. These resources included posters, display/model, digital versatile disc (DVD), and a screening tool. The participants’ responses indicated that a tool-kit including one or more of the resources discussed may be of value in their efforts to reduce intake of sugary drinks among their patients. Compared to physicians, dentists more often expressed the need for resources to emphasize the oral health effects of sugar-sweetened beverages. This study gathered relevant information from health professionals regarding the types and characteristics of additional educational resources that may be useful in primary and dental care settings to limit children’s intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and promote more healthful choices.