Evaluating Childsmile, Scotland’s national oral health improvement programme for children

Ross, A. J. et al. (2023) Evaluating Childsmile, Scotland’s national oral health improvement programme for children. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 51(1), pp. 133-138. (doi: 10.1111/cdoe.12790) (PMID:36753390)

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In the early 2000s, a Scottish Government Oral Health Action Plan identified the need for a national programme to improve child oral health and reduce inequalities. ‘Childsmile’ aimed to improve child oral health in Scotland, reduce inequalities in outcomes and access to dental services, and to shift the balance of care from treatment to prevention through targeted and universal components in dental practice, community and educational settings. This paper describes how an embedded, theory-based research and evaluation arm with multi-disciplinary input helps determine priorities and provides important strategic direction. Programme theory is articulated in dedicated, dynamic logic models, and evaluation themes are as follows: population-level data linkage; trials and economic evaluations; investigations drawing from behavioural and implementation science; evidence reviews and updates; and applications of systems science. There is also a growing knowledge sharing network internationally. Collaborative working from all stakeholders is necessary to maintain gains and to address areas that may not be working as well, and never more so with the major disruptions to the programme from the COVID-19 pandemic and response. Conclusions are that evaluation and research are synergistic with a complex, dynamic programme like Childsmile. The evidence obtained allows for appraisal of the relative strengths of component interventions and the reach and impact of Childsmile to feed into national policy.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Special Issue: Advancing the Behavioural and Social Sciences to Promote Oral Health.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Blokland, Dr Alex and King, Mr Peter and Kidd, Dr Jamie and Ross, Dr Alastair and Sherriff, Dr Andrea and Deas, Dr Leigh and Macpherson, Professor Lorna and McMahon, Dr Alex and Conway, Professor David
Authors: Ross, A. J., Sherriff, A., Kidd, J., Deas, L., Eaves, J., Blokland, A., Wright, B., King, P., McMahon, A. D., Conway, D. I., and Macpherson, L. M.D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Dental School
Journal Name:Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
ISSN (Online):1600-0528
Published Online:08 February 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Authors
First Published:First published in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology 51:133-138
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
135209Evaluation of West of Scotland Child Oral Health Pilot ProgrammeLorna MacphersonOffice of the Chief Scientific Adviser (CSO)N/AMed - Dental School