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“Mom Let’s Go to the Dentist!” Preliminary Feasibility of a Tailored Dental Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Italian Public Health Service

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show worse oral health than their peers. Their access to health services is, at present, inadequate: few high-quality interventions have been designed and implemented to improve their care procedures so far. The purpose of this study is to describe an experience of dental care supported by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), for children with ASD in a public health service. In our study, 59 children (mean age 9.9 years; SD = 5.43) participated in the MyDentist project. It integrates classic dental care techniques with new practices for desensitization and fear control, delivered through an enhanced customized ICT-based intervention aiming at familiarizing the child with ASD with the medical setting and procedures. Two questionnaires were filled out by parents to describe the acceptability of the MyDentist experience for their children. Significant results were shown from T0 (before initiating MyDentist) to T1 (after 6 months of the MyDentist experience) regarding improved oral hygiene and cooperation during dental treatments. Families positively assessed the use of ICT support. In conclusion, the project demonstrated acceptability by parents, suggesting that public health dental care and prevention can be successfully implemented without resorting to costly pharmacological interventions (with potential side effects), taking better care of children’s health.


Brain Sciences, 2020

Autori esterni: Antonio Narzisi (IRCCS Stella Maris Foundation, Pisa, Italy), Mariasole Bondioli (Department of Informatics, University of Pisa), Francesca Pardossi (Unit of Odontostomatology and Oral Surgery, University Hospital of Pisa), Lucia Billeci (CNR - IFC), Martina Pinzino (CNR - IN), Valentina Semucci (UFSMIA, Zona Livorno, Azienda USL Toscana NO), Alessandro Tonacci (CNR- IFC), Benedetta Vagelli (UFSMIA, Zona Pisana, Azienda USL Toscana NO), Maria Rita Giuca (Unit of Odontostomatology and Oral Surgery, University Hospital of Pisa), Susanna Pelagatti (Department of Informatics, University of Pisa)
Autori IIT:

Fabio Uscidda

Foto di Fabio Uscidda

Tipo: Contributo in rivista non ISI
Area di disciplina: Information Technology and Communication Systems

File: brainsci-10-00444.pdf

Attività: Accessibility and Usability of User Interfaces
Healthcare and wellbeing