Title: 0793 - The Oral Health Research Evidence Gap for Disabled Children


Maram Alwadi (Presenter)
The University of Sheffield

Sarah Baker, University of Sheffield
Janine Owens, University of Sheffield


Objectives: This systematic review describes the extent to which oral health research since the advent of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the current movement on including of voices of children, has been conducted on or with disabled children.

Methods: A systematic review of the dental literature for disabled children from 2001-2017 was conducted. Electronic databases were searched for oral health literature on the participation of disabled children. Every article that was identified was examined by two reviewers against the inclusion criteria and classified according to the extent to which disabled children were involved in oral health research ranging from full participation in the research process to no involvement.

Results: After application of the exclusion criteria, the review included 113 articles. Of these papers only 6.2% were categorised as research with disabled children, 41.6% used proxies as a means of gaining children’s perspectives and 52.2% researched on disabled children.

Conclusions: Most oral health research is conducted on disabled children rather than with them. There are implications for the evidence base in oral health research because the current approach leaves gaps. If we consider oral health policy, disabled children’s opinions and perceptions about their oral health care are not being sought. This means that we are not valuing disabled children’s views and ignoring their rights to participate in decisions, which has the potential to affect their oral health now and in the future. Dental research needs to find ways of involving disabled children as far as possible to ensure inclusion of their perspectives.

Student Presenter

Disclosure Statement:
The submitter must disclose the names of the organizations with which any author have a relationship, the nature of the relationship, and the clinical or research area involved. The following is submitted: NONE