Data acquisition for the study was performed with the help of the Early Childhood Oral Health Impact Scale (ECOHIS) (Martins-Júnior, Vieira-Andrade, Corrêa-Faria, Oliveira-Ferreira, Marques & Ramos-Jorge, 2013). Sociodemographic information was collected after the vaccination process. A team of examiners who received a prior training in the diagnosis of early childhood caries (ECC) according to the criteria recommended by World Health Organization (WHO) conducted an oral examination. A random sample of 650 children aged from two to five years was selected for the study (Martins-Júnior et al., 2013). None of them underwent orthodontic treatment prior to the examination. Children’s teeth were inspected for decay, extraction and filled primary teeth (dmft) which was later categorized by the severity of ECC (Martins-Júnior et al., 2013).
Ordinal scale refers to a direction of measurement and also provides nominal information (Ledlow & Coppola, 2011). It is associated with a monotonic increase in sequential order values (Ledlow & Coppola, 2011). Taking into consideration that dmft was classified with the use of the ECC severity score that has six levels with unspecified value, it can be said that the study collected ordinal data. The following elements can be identified as independent variables in the study: gender, age and sociodemographic conditions that include, but not limited to, marital status of parents and their age, household crowding index, and family income (Ledlow & Coppola, 2011).
Quantitative research is associated with the collection of information in a numerical form (Neuman, 2011). Unlike qualitative research that gathers information with the help of diary accounts, open-ended questions, and other unstructured forms of data collection, quantitate research uses records that can be presented in numerical form (Neuman, 2011). ECOHIS questionnaires used for the study included 13 questions that were divided into two categories: impact of the child and impact of the family (Martins-Júnior et al., 2013). The impact of the child part had four scales: child symptoms, child function, child psychology and social interaction of a child (Martins-Júnior et al., 2013). Another category of questionnaires was concerned with the level of parental distress and function of a family. The answers were measured with the help of 5-point Likert scale. All responses were ranged from 0 to 52 with the high end of the scale indicating more problems (Martins-Júnior et al., 2013). Moreover, those parents that provided the answer “don’t know” to more than two items in a questionnaire were not considered for the analysis (Martins-Júnior et al., 2013). Taking into consideration that information was collected in numerical form and was presented in rank order it could be said that data collected for the study was quantitative.
The lack of data on ECC and its impact on the quality of life of preschool children is what makes the study conducted by Martins-Júnior et al. especially important for the purpose of my research proposal. Moreover, even though the information could be gleaned from other researches and is not unique, this particular study also provides insight into the role of ECC in the life of children’s parents and families. Furthermore, taking into account that the sample for the study was sufficiently large, it could be concluded that results of the study were statistically significant; therefore, it could be used for the proposal. However, the study did not collect the information related to the breastfeeding practices of the parents. Consequently, additional information is needed in order to determine whether there is a relationship between ECC and breastfeeding methods.
Ledlow, G., & Coppola, M. (2011). Leadership for health professionals. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.
Martins-Júnior, P., Vieira-Andrade, R., Corrêa-Faria, P., Oliveira-Ferreira, F., Marques, L., & Ramos-Jorge, M. (2013). Impact of early childhood caries on the oral health-related quality of life of preschool children and their parents. Caries Research, 47(3), 211-218.
Neuman, W. (2011). Social research methods. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.