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Oral health behavior change

IADR-Unilever research award

January 24, 2014

By Craig Palmer, ADA News staff

Alexandria, Va.—The International Association for Dental Research will accept proposals until March 3 for Unilever-funded research on behavioral change to improve oral health.

The new IADR Unilever Social Entrepreneur Approach to Change Oral Health Behavior Research Award is intended to stimulate scientific research in social entrepreneur approaches to affect real behavioral change at the individual or community level that improve oral health with a particular emphasis on interventions targeted to disadvantaged and vulnerable populations, the IADR said.

As examples offered by the IADR, research could include but is not limited to:

  • demonstrating the effectiveness of social entrepreneurial approaches to improving individual health decisions;
  • expanding on current behavioral change models;
  • demonstrating the effectiveness of positive, relevant oral health messaging incorporated into a complex social milieu;
  • understanding the underlying social determinants of health including oral health.

One "unrestricted educational grant from Unilever" will be awarded for up to $75,000.

"Given the global burden of oral diseases and the worldwide oral health inequalities, new, innovative research approaches are sorely needed and IADR is very grateful for Unilever’s generous support in an area that is often overlooked by traditional funding agencies," said Dr. Helen Whelton, IADR president.

"Unilever is committed to improving oral health of populations and articulates five levers of encouraging behavioral change: make it understood, make it easy, make it desirable, make it rewarding and make it a habit," said Alexis Roberts-McIntosh, VP Global Oral Care Category R&D for Unilever.