Oral Health in Young Australian Aboriginal Children

Research Team and Reflexivity

The research of the “Oral Health in Young Australian Aboriginal Children” is a quantitative research on the perspective of parents of parents on Oral Health. It was conducted by Angela Durey, Dale McAullay, and Bill Gibson, and L.M. Slack-Smith. The authors are experts in research having conducted several studies on health related research. Angela Durey McAullay is an Associate Professor at the University of Western Australia in the Department of Dental School. She has published academic journals related to Anthropology, Rural Health and Racism in healthcare settings. However, Angela Durey has a PhD from E.Cowan. McAullay is also an Associate Professor from University of Western Australia and has a PhD. McAullasy has been an associate professor for several years and therefore, he has a wealth of experience in research in health related issues. Louis M. Smith is an associate professor at Washington University and has published books and academic journals in the field of health and journalism. Bill Gibson is a PhD holder and an associate professor in the school of economics in the University of Massachusetts.

In brief, the authors participated in this study has PhD in different fields and associate professors in different universities in Australia as well. It is therefore, make the research to be more valid and reflective of condition of Oral Health affect young Aboriginal Children. The researchers were both male and female. It is evident the research team were very competent since they are experienced and skilled professors drawn from various institutions of learning. Critical analysis revealed that almost all the authors have published other articles, journals and peer review and books in different field of studies. For instance, Angela Durey has published books which are used in school for training in health and other journals.

It is revealed that the relationship was made between the researchers and the group prior to the study. It was done to make sure that there is a good network and understanding among the team. It was also necessary so that the objectives and goals of the study to be made clear to the participants to address any kind of misperception which could have affect the study. It is established that the team met and agreed on the goals and briefed the group drawn from Aboriginal community on the intended study, goals, achievable, and main objectives and reason for conducting the study among aboriginal children.

However, the participants did not know much about the researchers beyond the reason for conducting the research. It is evident that the research team only visited the regional and introduced to the team by healthcare providers officials which include Aboriginal head of nursing practitioners. It is important to note that Aboriginal are indigenous Australians who still practice their traditional healthcare system and the community is culturally tied and belief in their way of life and therefore, the researchers had to understand aboriginal ways of healthcare provision and conduct and it is why they had to be introduced to the team of other healthcare professions from the community.

The report from the interview indicates there are no negative activities from the field and especially from the participants. Though there is some few misunderstanding with some of the participants which is normally with the kind of study which was being conducted. The participants and the viewer and the interviewers worked in collaboration to make sure that the best result was delivered and the content of the result is kept. It was reported that the interested of the interviewers was to understand the healthcare provision system within Aboriginal community, the persistence of oral healthcare despite the heavy funding by the government. The interviewers also wanted to know whether there are other factors which are cultural or traditional tied to dental problem in Aboriginal community since, most children have oral related diseases and understanding any cultural linked would help in addressing the oral related health issues affecting the Aboriginal children.
Study Design

The research was conducted using qualitative research design, it is therefore, means the study design is qualitative design (Ospina, 2014). According to Ospina (2014), qualitative design research is the method of research where a problem is developed to a question and then asks the participants. The study was conducted in a group of women drawn from aboriginal and non aboriginal as well. This was done to make sure that both perspectives are brought into the research so that there can a proper understanding.
Methodological orientation and theory

The study was conducted based on ethnography in order to understand the aboriginal culture and practices which can be related to oral health. As stated by Brewer (2014) ethnography is the analysis of culture, or social practices of a community through observation and participation. It is usually done through observation and asking question and notes are taken. However, the research was conducted using both ethnography and group theory where women were asked question regarding health of their children and the kind of care they usually provide to children. The importance of using the two methodologies is that the researchers were able to get the perspectives of parents and also observe the cultural and social practices of aboriginal so they can study and understand the oral health in young aboriginal in Australia (Genzuk, 2015).

The sampling of the study was done using purposive techniques. Purposive sampling is the method of sampling where the selection of participants is based on the characteristic of the population and the objectives of the study (Tongco, 2013). Since the study was focusing on children it was important to select women as the participant for the study. Therefore, women were used and the selection was based on whether a woman has a child and gave birth recently. First, the study was conducted through group discussion where fifty one women from aboriginal and non original participated and one interviewer. The group discussion occurred within the health center so that even healthcare providers can provide their opinion as well. It is also noted that two healthcare providers from aboriginal and non-aboriginal community also participated in the group discussion.

The purpose of the group discussion was to understand the perspective of women regarding oral health among aboriginal and non aboriginal so that comparative could be drawn based on mothers’ opinion. In order to have a comprehensive discussion, 9 group discussions was held where 51 people from aboriginal community participated N=51 (Durey, McAullay, Gibson, & Slack-Smith, 2017). However, the participants were first approach through telephone where they were invited for a meeting at the health center, where the discussion took place. The second meeting was face to face where the participants were briefed on the intended study and therefore, they were requested to participant through discussion. Prior to the discussion each participant was given a questionnaire of about five question to answer which was collected after group discussion.

In total fifty one (51) people participated in the study both from aboriginal and non aboriginal community. However, the number of people who were approached for the study was sixty five but only fifty one agreed to participate. In short, fourteen people refused or declined to participate in the study. The people who refused to participate noted that they had some commitment which had to attend while others did not have interest to participate and did not a reason to participate on the study. The people who refused were left to proceed and the rest who agreed to participate gathered in a room for discussion.

The data was collected from homes and clinic. It is because the interviewer wanted to perspective of women who are mothers and they could be found easily at their homes. The data related to health records were collected from healthcare facilities while personal views of mothers were collected from home and the group discussion allows the interviewer to analyze the response and create understanding on issues which affect oral healthcare among the aboriginal. However, during the group discussion health care provide (nurse practitioner) was present though she did not participate actively so her present cannot influence the findings of the study (Palinkas, Horwitz, Green, Wisdom, Duan, & Kimberly, 2015).

It is important to make sure that the demography reflects the composition of the community so that the findings or result of the study can reflect the general opinion of the society. According to William, Gray (2014), the participants should be grouped based on age, education level and whether has a child or not. It provides a reflective opinion which represents the majority of residents or the community (Williams S & Gray, 2014).
Data Collection

The data of the study was collected through questionnaires where each participant was expected to answer the questions and then return. All questions were to be collected and nobody was allowed to leave the building with questionnaires or take the questions home and resubmit the following day. All questions were answered and questionnaires submitted before participants leave the building. Data collection is the process of collecting an opinion through questioners, interviews and or observation (Lynch & Jamieson, 2017). Since, the study focused on the opinion, questionnaire was the best method used by the researchers to conduct the study. The questions asked were already been piloted since the researchers have published then and practice as well to make sure that they are up to standard. The data collected were relevant to the research question and therefore, the data were used to properly answer the research question. The objective and goals of the study was properly answered and met using the data collected.

Most importantly, the process of discussion was recorded for the purpose of references and analyze. It was done by the interviewers to make sure that all points or opinions are captured well for clarity and for the record. The notes were also taken during the interviews and discussions to make sure that all points are well gathered for use. The all process of interview took approximately 4 hours for all groups. This is because each person was given an opportunity to speak and questions were also asked to provide a clear understand. The data were saturated because all the participants had to handover the copy of the questionnaires back after the discussion. The notes gathered from the discussion were also there in plenty and this made the data to be saturated. Though the data were handled with and each data was put in its rightful place and properly marked to avoid confusion.
Analysis and finding

The data collected was analyzed using software called SPSS. SPSS is statistic software used for the analysis of numerical numbers or data collected from the field. It provides an advanced platform for the analysis of data. With the SPSS the researcher provided a code whereby data was only keyed in one by one and then analyzed by just a click of the mouse. The participants provided the feedback which was used for the analysis of data and therefore, it made the process of data analysis to be quick. The theme of the study was properly presented to make the analysis of date be easy and faster. The data was analyzed and through analysis each result obtained were verified and analysis based on the data presented and the findings. The interviews were independently analyzed so that the theme could be identified and this was done by the research team.

However, the consistency between the data presented and the findings were realized since it was almost 98% reflective of what was presented in the data and the finding obtained. It is important to that finding was generated and a lot of keenness and attention was taken to avoid minor errors which could identifier with the final findings (Browne, Varcoe, & Long, 2015). The major theme was presented in the findings which reflected the opinion of majority of aboriginal. It was discovered that limited education among the aboriginal and discrimination witness across healthcare facilities are the main reason why most aboriginal do not seek medical attention and this makes it difficult to completely cure oral health problems which affect aboriginal children.

The minor themes such as the affect of cultural practices to the healthcare provision, aboriginal social life were ignored and they did not interfere with the main theme which was the “Oral Health in Young Australian Aboriginal Children.” It main theme was then presented and analyze as well to find out if the findings and the data presented were matching before the final result is written.
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