Oral Health and Attitudes in Young Adults Aged 15-25 Years with Diabetes Mellitus: A Case - Control Study

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Masters by Research
Department / Centre
Western Health
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
A/Prof Christine Rodda christine.rodda@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Davis Darby ddarby@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page

Summary Adults with poorly controlled Diabetes Mellitus (DM) have more advanced gum disease and people with poorer gum health will have greater difficulty in controlling their DM. Most observational and intervention research has concentrated on the bidirectional association between DM and Periodontal disease in older adults and the oral health of children with Type 1 (T1) DM.

Project Details

As might be expected, the severity of the DM and its duration are also associated with oral health status of patients. It has also been found that people who have self-efficacy in their self-management of their T1DM similarly have better gum health, whereas people with poor or absent self-efficacy will have worse gum health. Self efficacy in both oral hygiene and T1DM management are related to lifestyle habits typically established during adolescence. However, to date there are few published data in this age group. The Young Adult Diabetes Service (YADS) clinic is attended by 15 to 25 year olds, with insulin dependent DM and the majority have T1DM.  This age group also covers a period of cognitive and emotional maturation, typically characterised by emotional liability, and poor executive functioning. With ongoing separation from parental dependence, there is concurrent transition from dependency to independence of lifestyle routines, behaviours and dietary choices for all adolescents, including those with DM. There is a dearth of studies of this age group because changes are more obvious in later years for both types of DM.   We will undertake a case control study with nested sample interviews to assess oral health knowledge, behaviours and attitudes, together with a dental history.  The study will be undertaken within the monthly multidisciplinary Young Adults Diabetes Service (YADS) Clinic.  Following obtaining signed informed consent, participants will be recruited.  All participants, cases and controls, will receive a full dental examination. Dental examinations will be performed by Oral Health Therapists from Footscray Co-Health, under supervision of Dr Jamie Robertson.  A short questionnaire for all participants on oral health behaviours and attitudes will be administered, and an interview will be conducted within a stratified sample of cases and controls.

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine

Research Opportunities

PhD students, Masters by Research
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre


Research Node

Western Health

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