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An exploratory trial implementing a community-based child oral health promotion intervention for Australian families from refugee and migrant backgrounds: a protocol paper for Teeth Tales
  1. Lisa Gibbs1,
  2. Elizabeth Waters1,
  3. Andrea de Silva1,2,
  4. Elisha Riggs1,3,
  5. Laurence Moore4,
  6. Christine Armit5,
  7. Britt Johnson1,
  8. Michal Morris6,
  9. Hanny Calache2,
  10. Mark Gussy7,
  11. Dana Young1,
  12. Maryanne Tadic5,
  13. Bradley Christian1,
  14. Iqbal Gondal8,
  15. Richard Watt9,
  16. Veronika Pradel5,
  17. Mandy Truong1,
  18. Lisa Gold10
  1. 1Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Carlton, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2Dental Health Services Victoria, Carlton, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3Healthy Mothers Healthy Families Research Group, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  4. 4MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland
  5. 5Merri Community Health Services, Brunswick, Victoria, Australia
  6. 6Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
  7. 7Department of Dentistry and Oral Health, La Trobe Rural Health School, La Trobe University, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
  8. 8Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University and Pakistan Australia Association Melbourne, Caulfield, Victoria, Australia
  9. 9Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK
  10. 10Deakin Health Economics, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Associate Professor Lisa Gibbs; lgibbs{at}


Introduction Inequalities are evident in early childhood caries rates with the socially disadvantaged experiencing greater burden of disease. This study builds on formative qualitative research, conducted in the Moreland/Hume local government areas of Melbourne, Victoria 2006–2009, in response to community concerns for oral health of children from refugee and migrant backgrounds. Development of the community-based intervention described here extends the partnership approach to cogeneration of contemporary evidence with continued and meaningful involvement of investigators, community, cultural and government partners. This trial aims to establish a model for child oral health promotion for culturally diverse communities in Australia.

Methods and analysis This is an exploratory trial implementing a community-based child oral health promotion intervention for Australian families from refugee and migrant backgrounds. Families from an Iraqi, Lebanese or Pakistani background with children aged 1–4 years, residing in metropolitan Melbourne, were invited to participate in the trial by peer educators from their respective communities using snowball and purposive sampling techniques. Target sample size was 600. Moreland, a culturally diverse, inner-urban metropolitan area of Melbourne, was chosen as the intervention site. The intervention comprised peer educator led community oral health education sessions and reorienting of dental health and family services through cultural Competency Organisational Review (CORe).

Ethics and dissemination Ethics approval for this trial was granted by the University of Melbourne Human Research Ethics Committee and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Research Committee. Study progress and output will be disseminated via periodic newsletters, peer-reviewed research papers, reports, community seminars and at National and International conferences.

Trial registration number Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12611000532909).


This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

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