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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Jo Voss


premature labor in South Dakota, teeth care and hygiene, pregnant women in South Dakota, rural women in South Dakota


Advances in medical knowledge and technology in the United States has had no effect on premature birth, which is the leading cause of fetal death (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2003). Many factors can lead to premature birth. Infection, dental health, and socioeconomic status have all been substantiated through recent research in metropolitan areas; however, relationship between dental health, socioeconomic status, and preterm labor in rural areas warranted further investigation.
A descriptive correlational pilot study examining the relationship between the variables of dental health and socioeconomic status in women in preterm labor was conducted. The sample was composed of 18 pregnant women from rural western South Dakota hospitalized with premature spontaneous rupture of membranes or for treatment of preterm labor with magnesium sulfate. Data pertaining to the participants' pregnancy, related health history, dental health including brushing and flossing routines, and family income level were collected in an interview using a questionnaire.
The findings of this study identified a significantly positive correlation between brushing, flossing, and dental visits. Participants across all socioeconomic levels brushed and flossed regularly and also visited a dentist annually; however, there was no significant correlation between dental health and socioeconomic status.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Premature labor -- South Dakota
Teeth -- Care and hygiene -- South Dakota
Pregnant women -- South Dakota
Rural women -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (page 32-36)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 2008 Angela Lochridge. All rights reserved