Building capacity in the sikh asian indian community to lead participatory oral health projects

Rucha Kavathe, Nadia Islam, Jennifer Zanowiak, Laura Wyatt, Hardayal Singh, Mary E. Northridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Lack of access to oral health care is a significant burden for disadvantaged populations, yet rarely draws the attention of policymakers or community leaders. Objectives: To understand how UNITED SIKHS identified oral health care as a priority need through its involvement in community-based participatory research (CBPR) initiatives and local data collection, thereby building its capacity to lead participatory oral health projects. Methods: The foundation for the partnership between UNITED SIKHS and the New York University (NYU) Prevention Research Center (PRC) was the joint implementation of a CBPR project to prevent diabetes in the Sikh Asian Indian community. Project partners also included a community coalition composed of religious leaders, health providers, members of the media, and dental students and faculty at the NYU College of Dentistry (NYU Dentistry). A community needs and resources assessment survey was jointly developed and conducted in 2010 to better understand health needs in the Sikh community. Results: Fewer than one-half of the Sikh participants (43.0%) reported ever receiving a check-up or screening by a dentist, and of those who did, only one-half (50.0%) reported that it occurred in the past 12 months. Upon clinical assessment, more than one-half of Sikh adults (58.2%) had untreated dental decay. The collection and analysis of local data motivated UNITED SIKHS to develop new priorities based upon the findings. Conclusions: UNITED SIKHS applied for and received external funding to lead a CBPR project that developed, implemented, evaluated, and disseminated a culturally tailored oral health and healthy living curriculum for the Sikh Asian Indian community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
JournalProgress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Asia
  • Community health partnerships
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Delivery of health care (integrated)
  • Dental health services
  • Health disparities
  • Oral health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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