User assessment of an early childhood oral health education training course for Aboriginal Health Workers
Introduction: Dental caries has a severe impact on young Australian Aboriginal children. With appropriate advice, dental caries is preventable; however, many Aboriginal children cannot access dental services. Aboriginal health workers (AHWs) are a valued member of Aboriginal communities and have regular contact with Aboriginal families. Once trained about dental health, AHWs have the ability to teach families with young children about preventing dental caries. This article reports on an oral health training course for AHWs. Objectives: To evaluate the training course in terms of its components, cultural appropriateness, course content and whether the participants felt competent to offer oral health advice. Methods: Sixty-one AHWs from twelve Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Services (ACCHS) participated in the training programme across New South Wales, Australia. Anonymous self-completed questionnaires were collected after the training to determine whether the participants felt prepared to offer oral health advice to Aboriginal families with young children and to evaluate the course. Results: Most AHWs thought the components of the training were very good to good including the PowerPoint presentation (59, 97%), graphics (60, 98%) and materials (60, 98%). All (59, 100%) thought the training and materials were culturally appropriate. The course was informative, the material was relevant (61, 100%), and the training increased the AHW’s oral health knowledge (61, 100%). Most (59, 98%) reported increased confidence to deliver dental advice to families with young children. All believed the course appeared easy to use and would recommend it to others (61, 100%).