Adelaide takes a bite of oral health research grants

Friday, 10 May 2002

The University of Adelaide has received the most grants of any institution in Australia and the second-highest amount of funding in the NHMRC's recently announced Oral Health Research Program.

The NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) is funding 18 projects nation wide at a total cost of more than $1.8 million to improve oral health and the general health of Australians.

In South Australia, the NHMRC has awarded four grants, all of them to University of Adelaide researchers. Total funding for the four grants is more than $265,000. These projects are:

A best-practice oral health model for Australian residential care

Dr Jane Chalmers, AIHW - Dental Statistics and Research Unit, University of Adelaide
Telephone: +61 8 8303 4048

Carers are essential to the delivery of oral hygiene care and maintenance of residents' oral health in residential care facilities. This research will investigate the role that carers can play to maintain adequate oral health for residents, and improving their timely referral and access to dental professionals. It will also assist with the development of appropriate policies and procedures for oral and dental care, in accordance with Commonwealth Residential Aged Care Standards.

Dental care and oral health for the Indigenous communities of South Australia's mid-north

Associate Professor Lindsay Richards, Dental School, University of Adelaide
Telephone: +61 8 8303 3296

Improving access to dental services and oral health for Indigenous communities is a high priority. This project will initially involve the evaluation of oral health programs for Indigenous children in Port Augusta. This will guide the planning and implementation of programs for the other age groups and for the remote communities serviced by Pika Wiya Health Service. In addition, the project group will investigate the appropriateness of the developed strategies for implementation in other communities.

Remote Indigenous oral health - testing a community based model of oral health promotion

Dr Kaye Roberts-Thomson, Dental School, University of Adelaide Telephone: +61 8 8303 4454

Development and trial of an oral health promotion package for remote Aboriginal groups based on community consultations. This would include the development of visual health promotion packages in local language. The aim is to develop sustainable change in oral health behaviours.

Analysis of the effectiveness of a simple, inexpensive, saliva-based caries-risk test

Associate Professor Tony Rogers, Dental School, University of Adelaide
Telephone: +61 8 8303 5104

The project aims to develop a test with the capacity to identify children at risk of developing caries (dental decay) so they can benefit from preventive care. The effectiveness of the test will be assessed by how well it correlates with currently available tests and whether it can predict caries development in children classified into risk groups on the basis of the test. The test promises to be predictive of caries-risk, inexpensive, easy to interpret and rapid when compared to those currently available commercially.


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