University Of Tasmania

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Factors influencing the provision of oral health practices by antenatal care providers: a systematic review

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 22:48 authored by Annika WilsonAnnika Wilson, Thi HoangThi Hoang, Heather BridgmanHeather Bridgman, Silvana BettiolSilvana Bettiol, Crocombe, L
Background: Antenatal care providers are recommended to promote oral health during pregnancy through the provision of oral health practices, but studies have indicated that providers remain unclear and inconstant in adopting these practices into routine care. Therefore, the objective was to undertake a systematic review of the current oral health practices of antenatal care providers, and the factors (barriers and facilitators) that influence antenatal care providers’ oral health practices for promoting oral health to women during pregnancy.

Methods Qualitative and quantitative studies were systematically searched within four databases (database inception-October 2020). Studies were selected if they were published in English and conducted in developed countries. Thematic analysis was employed where data from the included studies were grouped and interpreted according to major themes and were inductively categorised within a multilevel framework.

Results A total of 3,519 antenatal care providers were included across twenty-six studies. Rates of reported oral health practices among antenatal care providers varied considerably. The most reported barriers related to providers limited oral health knowledge, concerns with dental costs, and absence of organisational referral processes. The most reported facilitators related to providers level of oral health knowledge, patient prompt, and access to informational and educational resources.

Conclusions Further efforts are needed to address the range of barriers identified in this review and support antenatal care providers clinical practice behaviours. This includes improved interprofessional education, training opportunities, and integrated healthcare models.


Publication title

Journal of Women's Health




School of Health Sciences


Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers

Place of publication

United States

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Prevention of human diseases and conditions; Health education and promotion; Women's and maternal health