BASCD conference to focus on working with communities


  Posted by: manpreet.boora      29th September 2017

Inequalities in oral health is a repeated concern in many parts of the country. A lot of emphasis has been given to strategies which focus on improving the behaviour of individual patients, and increasingly on large scale media campaigns, policy actions etc as ways to tackle the problem. A key aim of the British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry (BASCD’s) Autumn scientific conference is the benefits and challenges of working with communities to improve oral health.

The conference will take place on Thursday 16th November at the Cavendish conference centre in London. Sir Harry Burns a former Chief Medical Officer for Scotland until 2014 and now Professor of Global Public Health at Strathclyde University, will be the keynote speaker. He draws on his clinical experience working with patients in the east end of Glasgow to give an insight into the complex inter-relationships between social and economic status and illness, and has been particularly prominent in advocating for ‘co-producing’ health and using assets which are present, even in deprived areas.

This will be followed by a presentation by Professor Lorna Macpherson from University of Glasgow who will outline what we know about community-level approaches to tackling oral health inequalities, and then we have an example of a community-based programme where an oral health component is embedded within a wider initiative targeting young families, and which uses a model of community volunteers as mentors. The programme also includes a session by Mark Petticrew (a Professor of Public Health Evaluation, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) on methodological challenges in evaluating community interventions, to inform on how to assess and set up scientific evidence in this area, where randomised controlled trials are often not possible. There are also posters and short verbal presentations.

Registration details are available on the BASCD website

Rebecca Harris, current President of BASCD commented ‘Inequalities in oral health is something which many of us see day to day. The evidence about the existence of inequalities is presented again and again, but there seems to be much less emphasis on what actually works in tackling the problem. Hopefully the programme will be of wide interest to people working in deprived communities, and interested in some different approaches’.

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