Closing the Gaps in Women’s Oral Care Education and Research

Contact – Merideth Menken, ADEA Media Relations –

  WASHINGTON, April 21 (AScribe Newswire) — Emerging data
indicate the unique effects of oral cancer, periodontal
disease, obesity, violence, and other factors on women’s
health. The American Dental Education Association (ADEA),
with National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Research
on Women’s Health sponsorship, will identify current
knowledge gaps to fill so that the next generation of North
American oral care providers better meets the unique health
needs of women.

       The ADEA study will be a catalyst for change in basic and
clinical sciences curricula in North American dental
schools,which ultimately is how new information and
scientific discoveries get included in diagnostic and
treatment regimes. Report findings will be published and a
symposium,Women’s Health in the Dental Curriculum:
Implications for Future Research, will be presented at the
2012 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition in Orlando, Fla.,
March 12-16.

       “This study is especially relevant to emerging concepts
of interprofessional education, collaborative research, and
personalized therapeutics as envisioned for the future,”
said ADEA Executive Director Richard W. Valachovic, D.M.D.,
M.P.H, who serves as Principal Investigator.

       The 2001 Institute of Medicine report Exploring the
Biological Contributions to Human Health: Does Sex Matter?
is the foundation for the generation of new knowledge from
interdisciplinary approaches to research affecting health
behaviors and outcomes of women and girls across a lifespan.

       Three ADEA staff members will direct the research
: ADEA Executive Director Dr. Richard W. Valachovic
as Principal Investigator, and Jeanne C. Sinkford, D.D.S.,
Ph.D., Associate Executive Director and Director, ADEA
Center for Equity and Diversity, and Ms. Sue Sandmeyer, ADEA
Associate Executive Director for Knowledge Management, are

       A 1999 NIH report, Women’s Health in the Dental School
Curriculum, was based on a survey of U.S. and Canadian
dental schools fielded by the American Association of Dental
Schools (now ADEA) and followed a similar 1996 study of
medical school curricula. That report identified areas of
curriculum needing specific review and revision, including:

       – reflecting a “life span” approach to women’s health

       – improving the instruction of psychosocial and
socioeconomic issues, where women are
disproportionately influenced

       – increasing the knowledge of future oral health care
providers in the social and legal responsibilities of
their profession, especially as their responsibilities
relate to women and the promotion of health and
well-being ADEA members have been recruited to
participate in the current research through a survey of
U.S. dental schools regarding curricula content and
objectives for women’s health and related issues using
templates of survey instruments from similar research
in other health professions.

       About the American Dental Education Association

National Institutes of Health

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       The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) is the
voice of dental education. Its members include all U.S. and
Canadian dental schools and many allied and postdoctoral
dental education programs, corporations, faculty, and
students. The mission of ADEA is to lead individuals and
institutions of the dental education community to address
contemporary issues influencing education, research, and the
delivery of oral health care for the health of the
public. ADEA’s activities encompass a wide range of
research, advocacy, faculty development, meetings, and
communications like the esteemed Journal of Dental
Education, as well as the dental school admissions services

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