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1.  The quality of general dental care: public and users' perceptions 
Quality in Health Care : QHC  1999;8(3):149-153.
Background - Systematic evidence about how the public and users perceive and experience the quality of general dental care is in short supply, particularly in light of the recent changes in the general dental service. The study reported here attempted to fill this gap. Objectives - To identify the criteria the public and users adopt in evaluating the quality of general dental care, and to identify the extent and nature of perceived concerns with general dental care. Design - Postal questionnaires were sent to random samples of adults living in an inner city area (I) and semi-rural area (R) in southern England. Fifty six per cent (1499) in area R and 48% (1388) in area I completed the questionnaire after four mailings. Follow up face-to-face interviews were done with a purposive subsample (n=50) of responders from the postal survey. Main measures - Public/user views about quality of dental care were measured through groups of questions about the importance of and satisfaction with different aspects of dental care (access/availability including cost; facilities; technical skills; and interpersonal care) and a scale (Dentsat) measuring general satisfaction was constructed from questions on different aspects of care. Results - Evaluation of quality of general dental care from the users' point of view hinges on perceived technical skills, particularly pain management. Major dissatisfaction stems from concerns about costs of dental care and privatisation. Conclusions - The criteria adopted by the public/users to assess general dental care are similar to other areas of health care, apart from the priority placed on technical skills and pain management. However, the major source of decline in satisfaction with the quality of general dental care is the barrier to access created by the rising cost of dental care and the increasing involvement of dentists in private practice. This evidence suggests that the public and users find the drift towards private practice and away from NHS practice a major source of concern.
PMCID: PMC2483661  PMID: 10847870
2.  The Public Attitude Towards Selecting Dental Health Centers 
Journal of Dentistry  2014;15(3):129-134.
Statement of the Problem: No published literature was found studying the people's reasons on why to choose or not to choose a dental care setting in south Iran, while understanding their attitude towards choosing their dental care center is consequential for planning a successful oral health care service system.   
Purpose: To determine the factors affecting how people of the city of Shiraz choose their dental health services.
Materials and Method: A cross-sectional analytic study was designed. A self-administered questionnaire was produced, tested and then distributed among 570 multistage randomly selected parents of schoolchildren of the city of Shiraz. Independent t-test, paired t-test and Spearman correlation were used to analyze the factors influencing participants in choosing clinics for their esthetic and non-esthetic dental treatments.
Results: 400 questionnaires were complete and analyzed. The recommendation from others was found to be the most encouraging factor to choose a dentist or a dental clinic. More importance was reported for various factors affecting participants' choice of dental clinic when seeking non-esthetic treatments, while recommendation and reputation of dentist/dental clinic played a vital role in esthetic treatments. The cost was more important for respondents living in more deprived districts (p= 0.05), for unemployed group (p< 0.001) and for those with less education (p< 0.001).
Conclusion: Factors affecting people's choice for dental care proved to be highly complicated. Recommendation was found playing an important role. Dental patients consider various factors when looking for non-esthetic treatment but would go for the best possible when seeking esthetic treatments. Findings of this study indicate that patients’ choice and utilization of dental service can be improved if dental clinics provide high quality of dental care with reasonable fees.
PMCID: PMC4149895  PMID: 25191662
Dentists; Oral health; Health services; Attitude to health
3.  Correlates of Unmet Dental Care Need Among HIV-Positive People Since Being Diagnosed with HIV 
Public Health Reports  2012;127(Suppl 2):17-24.
We analyzed the characteristics of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) who reported unmet oral health needs since testing positive and compared those characteristics with people reporting no unmet health needs. We also identified barriers to accessing oral health care for PLWHA.
We collected data from 2,469 HIV-positive patients who had not received oral health care in the previous 12 months and who had accessed care at Health Resources and Service Administration-funded Special Projects of National Significance Innovations in Oral Health Care Initiative demonstration sites. The outcome of interest was prior unmet oral health needs. We explore barriers to receiving oral health care, including cost, access, logistics, and personal factors. Bivariate tests of significance and generalized estimating equations were used in analyses.
Nearly half of the study participants reported unmet dental care needs since their HIV diagnosis. People reporting unmet needs were more likely to be non-Hispanic white, U.S.-born, and HIV-positive for more than one year, and to have ever used crack cocaine or crystal methamphetamine. The top three reported barriers to oral care were cost, access to dental care, and fear of dental care. Additional reported barriers were indifference to dental care and logistical issues.
Innovative strategies are needed to increase access to and retention in oral health care for PLWHA. Key areas for action include developing strategies to reduce costs, increase access, and reduce personal barriers to receiving dental care, particularly considering the impact of poor oral health in this population.
PMCID: PMC3314389  PMID: 22547873
4.  Barriers to the Utilization of Dental Services in Udaipur, India 
Regular home care and yearly dental check-ups are the best means of dental care. In spite of the information on dental care, many people fail to take these precautions. The objective of this study was to determine the barriers in regular dental care and home care and to assess their association with age, sex, education and income.
Materials and Methods:
A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 427 randomly selected individuals, 248 males and 179 females. Data were collected by a pre-tested, self-administered 14 question questionnaire. The answer “very much” was scored as one, “to some degree” as two and “not at all” as three. The data was described and analyzed by frequency distribution and chi square test with P<0.05 level of significance. Logistic regression was used to investigate the association between dental visits with age, sex and education. Correlation between income and dental visits was determined by Spearman’s correlation coefficient.
The male group had more dental visits (P>0.05), but females experienced higher dental fear (P<0.001). The younger age group had more visits within one year in comparison to the older. Increase in education, decreases the barriers for regular dental care. Income had a significantly negative correlation with dental visit (P=0.02).
Our findings suggest that males believed in having regular dental care. Cost of the treatment also affected the dental visits, but the distance they had to travel to get the dental treatment was not much significant. Above all, felt need had a major impact on the dental visits.
PMCID: PMC3184738  PMID: 21998813
Communication barriers; Dental Care; Socioeconomic Factors; Dental Health Services
5.  Changing Patterns in Place of Cancer Death in England: A Population-Based Study 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(3):e1001410.
Wei Gao and colleagues describe how location of death has changed for patients with cancer in England between 1993 and 2010.
Most patients with cancer prefer to die at home or in a hospice, but hospitals remain the most common place of death (PoD).This study aims to explore the changing time trends of PoD and the associated factors, which are essential for end-of-life care improvement.
Methods and Findings
The study analysed all cancer deaths in England collected by the Office for National Statistics during 1993–2010 (n = 2,281,223). Time trends of age- and gender-standardised proportion of deaths in individual PoDs were evaluated using weighted piecewise linear regression. Variables associated with PoD (home or hospice versus hospital) were determined using proportion ratio (PR) derived from the log-binomial regression, adjusting for clustering effects. Hospital remained the most common PoD throughout the study period (48.0%; 95% CI 47.9%–48.0%), followed by home (24.5%; 95% CI 24.4%–24.5%), and hospice (16.4%; 95% CI 16.3%–16.4%). Home and hospice deaths increased since 2005 (0.87%; 95% CI 0.74%–0.99%/year, 0.24%; 95% CI 0.17%–0.32%/year, respectively, p<0.001), while hospital deaths declined (−1.20%; 95% CI −1.41 to −0.99/year, p<0.001). Patients who died from haematological cancer (PRs 0.46–0.52), who were single, widowed, or divorced (PRs 0.75–0.88), and aged over 75 (PRs 0.81–0.84 for 75–84; 0.66–0.72 for 85+) were less likely to die in home or hospice (p<0.001; reference groups: colorectal cancer, married, age 25–54). There was little improvement in patients with lung cancer of dying in home or hospice (PRs 0.87–0.88). Marital status became the second most important factor associated with PoD, after cancer type. Patients from less deprived areas (higher quintile of the deprivation index) were more likely to die at home or in a hospice than those from more deprived areas (lower quintile of the deprivation index; PRs 1.02–1.12). The analysis is limited by a lack of data on individual patients' preferences for PoD or a clinical indication of the most appropriate PoD.
More efforts are needed to reduce hospital deaths. Health care facilities should be improved and enhanced to support the increased home and hospice deaths. People who are single, widowed, or divorced should be a focus for end-of-life care improvement, along with known at risk groups such as haematological cancer, lung cancer, older age, and deprivation.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Death is the only certain event in our lives. Consequently, end-of-life care is an issue that is relevant to everyone, and everyone hopes for a “good death” (a death that is free from avoidable distress and suffering) for themselves and for their loved ones. Many factors contribute to a good death, including the place of death. When asked, most people say they would rather die at home or in a hospice (a care facility that gives supportive care to people in the final phase of a terminal illness and that focuses on comfort and quality of life rather than on cure) than in a hospital. Importantly, patients who die at home or in a hospice often have a better quality of life than those who die in hospital, and caring for terminally ill patients in the community is less expensive than caring for them in hospital.
Why Was This Study Done?
Many countries have introduced end-of-life care policies that are designed to enable more people to die at home or in hospices. England, for example, implemented its National End of Life Care Programme in 2004. However, to improve end-of-life care services and to enable more people to die in their preferred place, we need to understand how the patterns of place of death and the factors that affect the place of death are changing over time. In this population-based study, the researchers examine the changing pattern of place of death of people with cancer and the factors associated with place of death in England between 1993 and 2010. Cancer is a leading cause of death globally and is responsible for 8 million deaths annually. Deaths from cancer still occur most commonly in hospitals, which are the least preferred place of death for people with cancer; home and hospices are the first and second preferred places of death, respectively, for such people.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used death registration data collected by the Office of National Statistics to identify all the adult cancer deaths in England between 1993 and 2010 (2.28 million deaths) and to determine where these deaths occurred, time trends in place of death, and the factors associated with place of death. Hospital was the commonest place of death throughout the study period—48% of cancer deaths occurred in hospital, 24.5% at home, and 16.4% in hospices. The proportion of home deaths increased after 2005 whereas the proportion of hospital deaths declined. The proportion of deaths in hospices also increased over the study period. The most important factor associated with place of death was cancer site. For example, patients who died from a blood (hematological) cancer were more likely to die in hospital than patients with colorectal cancer throughout the study period although the proportion dying at home or in a hospice increased over time. Being single, widowed, or divorced was associated with a higher likelihood of dying in hospital than being married. Being over 75 was associated with a higher likelihood of dying in hospital than being 25–54 although elderly people were more likely to die at home or in a hospice after 2006 than in earlier periods.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that the hospital is still the commonest place of death for patients with cancer in England. However, the increase in home and hospice deaths since 2005 suggests that the National End of Life Care Programme has enabled more people to die at their preferred place of death. These findings identify cancer site, marital status, and age as the three most important factors associated with place of death for patients with cancer. Because the study is a large-scale, population-based study, these findings are likely to be generalizable to other high-income settings. However, because the study did not include data on individual patient preferences for place of death, these findings should be applied with care to individual patients. Importantly, these findings indicate that more needs to be done to support people with cancer (and other terminal illnesses) who wish to die at home or in a hospice. Moreover, they identify groups of people—single, widowed or divorced individuals, older people, and people with specific types of cancer—who need extra help to ensure that they are able to choose where they die.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The Cicely Saunders International, a not-for-profit organization, promotes research to improve the care and treatment of all patients with terminal illnesses at home, in hospices and in hospital; its website includes information on end-of-life care and on Cicely Saunders, the founder of the hospice movement in England
This study is part of GUIDE_Care, a project initiated by the Cicely Saunders Institute to investigate patterns in place of death and the factors that affect these patterns
Information on the National End of Life Care Programme is available
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information (including videos of personal experiences) on end-of-life issues for carers, information on end-of-life care for patients with cancer, and an end-of-life care guide for people approaching the end of their life
The US National Cancer Institute has a fact sheet on end-of-life care for people who have cancer and provides information on hospice care and home care for patients with cancer (in English and Spanish)
The not-for-profit organization HealthTalkOnline provides personal stories about living with dying
The NHS National End of Life Intelligence Network (NEoLCIN) provides information on broad issues about end-of-life care
The South West Public Health Observatory (SWPHO) aims to improve the health of the population through producing evidence to inform decision making on health issues at local, regional, and national levels. SWPHO also produces specific end-of-life care resources (e.g., specialised reports, end-of-life care profiles) and disseminates it via the NEoLCIN website
PMCID: PMC3608543  PMID: 23555201
6.  Oral Health Care Reform in Finland – aiming to reduce inequity in care provision 
BMC Oral Health  2008;8:3.
In Finland, dental services are provided by a public (PDS) and a private sector. In the past, children, young adults and special needs groups were entitled to care and treatment from the public dental services (PDS). A major reform in 2001 – 2002 opened the PDS and extended subsidies for private dental services to all adults. It aimed to increase equity by improving adults' access to oral health care and reducing cost barriers. The aim of this study was to assess the impacts of the reform on the utilization of publicly funded and private dental services, numbers and distribution of personnel and costs in 2000 and in 2004, before and after the oral health care reform. An evaluation was made of how the health political goals of the reform: integrating oral health care into general health care, improving adults' access to care and lowering cost barriers had been fulfilled during the study period.
National registers were used as data sources for the study. Use of dental services, personnel resources and costs in 2000 (before the reform) and in 2004 (after the reform) were compared.
In 2000, when access to publicly subsidised dental services was restricted to those born in 1956 or later, every third adult used the PDS or subsidised private services. By 2004, when subsidies had been extended to the whole adult population, this increased to almost every second adult. The PDS reported having seen 118 076 more adult patients in 2004 than in 2000. The private sector had the same number of patients but 542 656 of them had not previously been entitled to partial reimbursement of fees.
The use of both public and subsidised private services increased most in big cities and urban municipalities where access to the PDS had been poor and the number of private practitioners was high. The PDS employed more dentists (6.5%) and the number of private practitioners fell by 6.9%. The total dental care expenditure (PDS plus private) increased by 21% during the study period. Private patients who had previously not been entitled to reimbursements seemed to gain most from the reform.
The results of this study indicate that implementation of a substantial reform, that changes the traditionally defined tasks of the public and private sectors in an established oral health care provision system, proceeds slowly, is expensive and probably requires more stringent steering than was the case in Finland 2001 – 2004. However, the equity and fairness of the oral health care provision system improved and access to services and cost-sharing improved slightly.
PMCID: PMC2268684  PMID: 18226197
7.  Perceived Barriers Affecting Access to Preventive Dental Services: Application of DEMATEL Method 
Identifying perceived access barriers to preventive dental services is one of the basic steps to improve the public health.
This study aimed to determine the perceived barriers affecting access to preventive dental services in one of Tehran dental clinics in 2012.
Patients and Methods
This research was a cross-sectional descriptive-analytical study conducted in one of Tehran dental clinics in 2012 using decision–making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) method. The study sample included all patients (100 patients) who had referred to the endodontic treatment department from 26 - 31 May, 2012. The required data were collected using a questionnaire. Collected data were analyzed using SPSS 18.0 and MATLAB 7.9.0 SPSSS 18.0, as well as, some descriptive and analytical tests including Mean, Standard Deviation (SD), and Independent T- Test.
The five determinants of cost, inconvenience, fear, organization, and patient-dentist relationship were determined as barriers to access to dental services among which the cost and patient-dentist relationship were identified as the first and last priorities with the coordinates (1.4 and 1.4) and (1.25 and -0.65), respectively.
High cost of dental care has led to not referring patients to the clinic. Oral health costs are too high; however insurance organizations have no commitment to support such services. Policymakers, administrators, and insurance organizations have a major role in improving access to dental services. These decision-makers in making their policies can provide the required financial resources, shift the available resources towards preventive care and periodic checkups, and consider providing proper and sufficient places for dental care facilities.
PMCID: PMC3918188  PMID: 24578831
Public Health; Dental Care; Hospital Dental Services
8.  Ethnic Disparities in Self-Reported Oral Health Status and Access to Care among Older Adults in NYC 
There is a growing burden of oral disease among older adults that is most significantly borne by minorities, the poor, and immigrants. Yet, national attention to oral heath disparities has focused almost exclusively on children, resulting in large gaps in our knowledge about the oral health risks of older adults and their access to care. The projected growth of the minority and immigrant elderly population as a proportion of older adults heightens the urgency of exploring and addressing factors associated with oral health-related disparities. In 2008, the New York City Health Indicators Project (HIP) conducted a survey of a representative sample of 1,870 adults over the age of 60 who attended a random selection of 56 senior centers in New York City. The survey included questions related to oral health status. This study used the HIP database to examine differences in self-reported dental status, dental care utilization, and dental insurance, by race/ethnicity, among community-dwelling older adults. Non-Hispanic White respondents reported better dental health, higher dental care utilization, and higher satisfaction with dental care compared to all other racial/ethnic groups. Among minority older adults, Chinese immigrants were more likely to report poor dental health, were less likely to report dental care utilization and dental insurance, and were less satisfied with their dental care compared to all other racial/ethnic groups. Language fluency was significantly related to access to dental care among Chinese immigrants. Among a diverse community-dwelling population of older adults in New York City, we found significant differences by race/ethnicity in factors related to oral health. Greater attention is needed in enhancing the cultural competency of providers, addressing gaps in oral health literacy, and reducing language barriers that impede access to care.
PMCID: PMC3157507  PMID: 21850607
Oral health; Older adults; Access to care
9.  Oral Health Disparities and Unmet Dental Needs among Preschool Children in Chelsea, MA: Exploring Mechanisms, Defining Solutions 
Significant disparities exist in children’s receipt of preventive dental care (PDC) in the United States. Many of the children at greatest risk of dental disease do not receive timely PDC; when they do receive dental care, it is often more for relief of dental pain. Chelsea is a low-income, diverse Massachusetts community with high rates of untreated childhood caries. There are various dental resources available in Chelsea, yet many children do not access dental care at levels equivalent to their needs.
Using Chelsea as a case-study, to explore factors contributing to forgone PDC (including the age 1 dental visit) in an in-depth way.
We used a qualitative study design that included semi-structured interviews with parents of preschool children residing in Chelsea, and Chelsea-based providers including pediatricians, dentists, a dental hygienist and early childhood care providers. We examined: a) parents’ dental attitudes and oral health cultural beliefs; b) parents’ and providers’ perspectives on facilitators and barriers to PDC, reasons for unmet needs, and proposed solutions to address the problem. We recorded, transcribed and independently coded all interviews. Using rigorous, iterative qualitative data analyses procedures, we identified emergent themes.
Factors perceived to facilitate receipt of PDC included Head-Start oral health policies, strong pediatric primary care/dental linkages, community outreach and advertising, and parents’ own oral health experiences. Most parents and providers perceived there to be an adequate number of accessible dental services and resources in Chelsea, including for Medicaid enrollees. However, several barriers impeded children from receiving timely PDC, the most frequently cited being insurance related problems for children and adults. Other barriers included limited dental services for children <2 years, perceived poor quality of some dental practices, lack of emphasis on prevention-based dental care, poor care-coordination, and insufficient culturally-appropriate care. Important family-level barriers included parental oral health literacy, cultural factors, limited English proficiency and competing priorities. Several solutions were proposed to address identified barriers.
Even in a community with a considerable number of dental resources, various factors may preclude access to these services by preschool-aged children. Opportunities exist to address modifiable factors through strategic oral health policies, community outreach and improved care coordination between physicians, dentists and early childhood care providers.
PMCID: PMC4299657  PMID: 25614878
Children; Preventive dental care; Oral health; Early childhood caries
10.  Dental pain, oral impacts and perceived need for dental treatment in Tanzanian school students: a cross-sectional study 
Dental caries, dental pain and reported oral problems influence people's oral quality of life and thus their perceived need for dental care. So far there is scant information as to the psychosocial impacts of dental diseases and the perceived treatment need in child populations of sub-Saharan Africa.
Focusing on primary school students in Kilwa, Tanzania, a district deprived of dental services and with low fluoride concentration in drinking water, this study aimed to assess the prevalence of dental pain and oral impacts on daily performances (OIDP), and to describe the distribution of OIDP by socio-demographics, dental caries, dental pain and reported oral problems. The relationship of perceived need estimates with OIDP was also investigated.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2008. A total of 1745 students (mean age 13.8 yr, sd = 1.67) completed an extensive personal interview and under-went clinical examination. The impacts on daily performances were assessed using a Kiswahili version of the Child-OIDP instrument and caries experience was recorded using WHO (1997) criteria.
A total of 36.2% (41.3% urban and 31.4% rural, p < 0.001) reported at least one OIDP. The prevalence of dental caries was 17.4%, dental pain 36.4%, oral problems 54.1% and perceived need for dental treatment 46.8% in urban students. Corresponding estimates in rural students were 20.8%, 24.4%, 43.3% and 43.8%. Adjusted OR for reporting oral impacts if having dental pain ranged from 2.5 (95% CI 1.8–3.6) (problem smiling) to 4.7 (95% CI 3.4–6.5) (problem sleeping),- if having oral problems, from 1.9 (95% CI 1.3–2.6) (problem sleeping) to 3.8 (95% CI 2.7–5.2) (problem eating) and if having dental caries from 1.5 (95% CI 1.1–2.0) (problem eating) to 2.2 (95% CI 1.5–2.9) (problem sleeping). Students who perceived need for dental care were less likely to be females (OR = 0.8, 95% CI 0.6–0.9) and more likely to have impacts on eating (OR = 1.9, 95% CI 1.4–2.7) and tooth cleaning (OR = 1.6, 95% CI 1.6–2.5).
Substantial proportions of students suffered from untreated dental caries, oral impacts on daily performances and perceived need for dental care. Dental pain and reported oral problems varied systematically with OIDP across the eight impacts considered. Eating and tooth cleaning problems discriminated between subjects who perceived need for dental treatment and those who did not.
PMCID: PMC2726126  PMID: 19643004
11.  To explore and develop a model to maintain and build upon a dental clinic open for all in developing regions, with a primary focus on India 
AIM: To study a service model that enables a clinic to be open to all members of the community, irrespective of their ability to pay.
METHODS: Sampling methodology was used to gather information in two phases, with the city of Indore as the target region. In the first phase, dental professionals were surveyed to gather the cost of the facility, land and equipment and the cost of sustaining the practice. In the second phase, the residents of Indore were surveyed to collect information regarding their oral health problems and their expenditure for the same. Assessing the current situation, the questions to answer are related to the issues of dental health care access problems and the resources required, human and financial.
RESULTS: (1) People younger than 20 years of age form a large proportion (43%) of the population of the city and also a large proportion (54%) of people who visit dental clinics; (2) Dental caries are commonly found in the population younger than 20 years of age and mobile teeth in those older than 50 years of age; (3) Dental caries and mobile teeth are almost equally found in people of the age group 20-50 years old; (4) A significantly large proportion of those older than 50 years old have had all their teeth extracted; and (5) A significantly large proportion of the 20-30 years of age group has had no teeth extracted.
CONCLUSION: The model which we propose works well for low income patients; however, it places a lot of extra burden on the higher income group. A lot of effort can be put into generating revenue from other sources, including events and donations.
PMCID: PMC4163766  PMID: 25232547
Dental clinic; Dentist; Dental health; Population; Dental treatment
12.  Toward improving the oral health of Americans: an overview of oral health status, resources, and care delivery. Oral Health Coordinating Committee, Public Health Service. 
Public Health Reports  1993;108(6):657-672.
Dental and oral diseases may well be the most prevalent and preventable conditions affecting Americans. More than 50 percent of U.S. children, 96 percent of employed U.S. adults, and 99.5 percent of Americans 65 years and older have experienced dental caries (also called cavities). Millions of Americans suffer from periodontal diseases and other oral conditions, and more than 17 million Americans, including 10 million Americans 65 years or older, have lost all of their teeth. Preventive dental services are known to be effective in preventing and controlling dental diseases. Unfortunately, groups at highest risk for disease--the poor and minorities--have lower rates of using dental care than the U.S. average. Cost is the principal barrier to dental care for many Americans. Of the $38.7 billion spent for dental services in 1992, public programs, including Medicaid, paid for less than 4 percent of dental expenditures. More than 90 percent of care was paid for either out-of-pocket by dental consumers or through private dental insurance. Americans are at risk for other oral health problems as well. Oropharyngeal cancer strikes approximately 30,000 Americans each year and results in an estimated 8,000 deaths annually. Underlying medical or handicapping conditions, ranging from rare genetic diseases to more common chronic diseases, affect millions of Americans and can lead to oral health problems. Among persons with compromised immune systems, oral diseases and conditions can have a significant impact on health. Oral diseases and conditions, though nearly universal, can be prevented easily and controlled at reasonable cost.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
PMCID: PMC1403448  PMID: 8265750
13.  Use of the out-of-hours emergency dental service at two south-east London hospitals 
BMC Oral Health  2009;9:19.
Prior to the introduction of the 2006 NHS dental contract in England and Wales, general dental practitioners (GDPs) were responsible for the provision of out-of-hours (OOH) emergency dental services (EDS); however there was great national variation in service provision. Under the contractual arrangements introduced 1st April 2006, local commissioning agencies became formally responsible for the provision of out-of-hours emergency dental services. This study aimed to examine patients' use of an out-of-hours emergency dental service and to determine whether the introduction of the 2006 national NHS dental contract had resulted in a change in service use, with a view to informing future planning and commissioning of care.
A questionnaire was administered to people attending the out-of-hours emergency dental service at two inner city London hospitals over two time periods; four weeks before and six months after the introduction of the dental contract in April 2006. The questionnaire explored: reasons for attending; dental registration status and attendance; method of access; knowledge and use of NHS Direct; satisfaction with the service; future preferences for access and use of out-of-hours dental services. Data were compared to determine any impact of the new contract on how and why people accessed the emergency dental service.
The response rate was 73% of attendees with 981 respondents for the first time period and 546 for the second. There were no significant differences between the two time periods in the gender, age, ethnic distribution or main language of service users accessing the service. Overall, the main dental problem was toothache (72%) and the main reason for choosing this service was due to the inability to access another emergency dental service (42%). Significantly fewer service users attended the out-of-hours emergency dental service during the second period because they could not get an appointment with their own dentist (p = 0.002 from 28% to 20%) and significantly more service users in the second period felt the emergency dental service was easier to get to than their own dentist (P = 0.003 from 8% to 14%). Service users found out about the service from multiple sources, of which family and friends were the most common source (30%). In the second period fewer service users were obtaining information about the service from dental receptionists (P = 0.002 from 14% to 9%) and increased use of NHS Direct for a dental problem was reported (P = 0.002 from 16% to 22%) along with more service users being referred to the service by NHS Direct (P = 0.02 from 19% to 24%). The most common preference for future emergency dental care was face-to-face with a dentist (79%).
This study has provided an insight into how and why people use an out-of-hours emergency dental service and has helped to guide future commissioning of these services. Overall, the service was being used in much the same way both before and after the 2006 dental contract. Significantly more use was being made of NHS Direct after April 2006; however, informal information networks such as friends and family remain an important source of information about accessing emergency dental services.
PMCID: PMC2729730  PMID: 19630986
14.  Can Fire and Rescue Services and the National Health Service work together to improve the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable older people? Design of a proof of concept study 
Older adults are at increased risk both of falling and of experiencing accidental domestic fire. In addition to advanced age, these adverse events share the risk factors of balance or mobility problems, cognitive impairment and socioeconomic deprivation. For both events, the consequences include significant injury and death, and considerable socioeconomic costs for the individual and informal carers, as well as for emergency services, health and social care agencies.
Secondary prevention services for older people who have fallen or who are identifiable as being at high risk of falling include NHS Falls clinics, where a multidisciplinary team offers an individualised multifactorial targeted intervention including strength and balance exercise programmes, medication changes and home hazard modification. A similar preventative approach is employed by most Fire and Rescue Services who conduct Home Fire Safety Visits to assess and, if necessary, remedy domestic fire risk, fit free smoke alarms with instruction for use and maintenance, and plan an escape route. We propose that the similarity of population at risk, location, specific risk factors and the commonality of preventative approaches employed could offer net gains in terms of feasibility, effectiveness and acceptability if activities within these two preventative approaches were to be combined.
This prospective proof of concept study, currently being conducted in two London boroughs, (Southwark and Lambeth) aims to reduce the incidence of both fires and falls in community-dwelling older adults. It comprises two concurrent 12-month interventions: the integration of 1) fall risk assessments into the Brigade's Home Fire Safety Visit and 2) fire risk assessments into Falls services by inviting older clinic attendees to book a Visit. Our primary objective is to examine the feasibility and effectiveness of these interventions. Furthermore, we are evaluating their acceptability and value to key stakeholders and services users.
If our approach proves feasible and the risk assessment is both effective and acceptable, we envisage advocating a partnership model of working more broadly to fire and rescue services and health services in Britain, such that effective integration of preventative services for older people becomes routine for an ageing population.
PMCID: PMC3003656  PMID: 21129185
15.  Utilization of dental care: An Indian outlook 
Oral health has a significant impact on the quality of life, appearance, and self-esteem of the people. Preventive dental visits help in the early detection and treatment of oral diseases. Dental care utilization can be defined as the percentage of the population who access dental services over a specified period of time. There are reports that dental patients only visit the dentist when in pain and never bother to return for follow-up in most cases. To improve oral health outcomes an adequate knowledge of the way the individuals use health services and the factors predictive of this behavior is essential. The interest in developing models explaining the utilization of dental services has increased; issues like dental anxiety, price, income, the distance a person had to travel to get care, and preference for preservation of teeth are treated as barriers in regular dental care. Published materials which pertain to the use of dental services by Indian population have been reviewed and analyzed in depth in the present study. Dental surgeons and dental health workers have to play an adequate role in facilitating public enlightenment that people may appreciate the need for regular dental care and make adequate and proper use of the available dental care facilities.
PMCID: PMC3783767  PMID: 24082719
Access; awareness; dental care; India; utilization
16.  Psychosocial Factors That Shape Patient and Carer Experiences of Dementia Diagnosis and Treatment: A Systematic Review of Qualitative Studies 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(10):e1001331.
A systematic review of qualitative studies conducted by Frances Bunn and colleagues identifies and describes the experiences of patients and caregivers on receiving and adapting to a diagnosis of dementia.
Early diagnosis and intervention for people with dementia is increasingly considered a priority, but practitioners are concerned with the effects of earlier diagnosis and interventions on patients and caregivers. This systematic review evaluates the qualitative evidence about how people accommodate and adapt to the diagnosis of dementia and its immediate consequences, to guide practice.
Methods and Findings
We systematically reviewed qualitative studies exploring experiences of community-dwelling individuals with dementia, and their carers, around diagnosis and the transition to becoming a person with dementia. We searched PubMed, PsychINFO, Embase, CINAHL, and the British Nursing Index (all searched in May 2010 with no date restrictions; PubMed search updated in February 2012), checked reference lists, and undertook citation searches in PubMed and Google Scholar (ongoing to September 2011). We used thematic synthesis to identify key themes, commonalities, barriers to earlier diagnosis, and support identified as helpful. We identified 126 papers reporting 102 studies including a total of 3,095 participants. Three overarching themes emerged from our analysis: (1) pathways through diagnosis, including its impact on identity, roles, and relationships; (2) resolving conflicts to accommodate a diagnosis, including the acceptability of support, focusing on the present or the future, and the use or avoidance of knowledge; and (3) strategies and support to minimise the impact of dementia. Consistent barriers to diagnosis include stigma, normalisation of symptoms, and lack of knowledge. Studies report a lack of specialist support particularly post-diagnosis.
There is an extensive body of qualitative literature on the experiences of community-dwelling individuals with dementia on receiving and adapting to a diagnosis of dementia. We present a thematic analysis that could be useful to professionals working with people with dementia. We suggest that research emphasis should shift towards the development and evaluation of interventions, particularly those providing support after diagnosis.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
Editors' Summary
Dementia is a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer disease is the most common type of dementia. People with dementia usually have problems with two or more cognitive functions—thinking, language, memory, understanding, and judgment. Dementia is rare before the age of 65, but about a quarter of people over 85 have dementia. Because more people live longer these days, the number of patients with dementia is increasing. It is estimated that today between 40 and 50 million people live with dementia worldwide. By 2050, this number is expected to triple.
One way to study what dementia means to patients and their carers (most often spouses or other family members) is through qualitative research. Qualitative research aims to develop an in-depth understanding of individuals' experiences and behavior, as well as the reasons for their feelings and actions. In qualitative studies, researchers interview patients, their families, and doctors. When the studies are published, they usually contain direct quotations from interviews as well as summaries by the scientists who designed the interviews and analyzed the responses.
Why Was This Study Done?
This study was done to better understand the experiences and attitudes of patients and their carers surrounding dementia diagnosis. It focused on patients who lived and were cared for within the community (as opposed to people living in senior care facilities or other institutions). Most cases of dementia are progressive, meaning symptoms get worse over time. Diagnosis often happens at an advanced stage of the disease, and some patients never receive a formal diagnosis. This could have many possible reasons, including unawareness or denial of symptoms by patients and people close to them. The study was also trying to understand barriers to early diagnosis and what type of support is useful for newly diagnosed patients and carers.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers conducted a systematic search for published qualitative research studies that reported on the experience, beliefs, feelings, and attitudes surrounding dementia diagnosis. They identified and reviewed 102 such studies. Among the quotations and summaries of the individual studies, they looked for prominent and recurring themes. They also compared and contrasted the respective experiences of patients and carers.
Overall, they found that the complexity and variety of responses to a diagnosis of dementia means that making the diagnosis and conveying it to patients and carers is challenging. Negative connotations associated with dementia, inconsistent symptoms, and not knowing enough about the signs and symptoms were commonly reported barriers to early dementia diagnosis. It was often the carer who initiated the search for help from a doctor, and among patients, willingness and readiness to receive a diagnosis varied. Being told one had dementia had a big impact on a patient's identity and often caused feelings of loss, anger, fear, and frustration. Spouses had to adjust to increasingly unequal relationships and the transition to a role as carer. The strain associated with this often caused health problems in the carers as well. On the other hand, studies examining the experience of couples often reported that they found ways to continue working together as a team.
Adjusting to a dementia diagnosis is a complex process. Initially, most patients and carers experienced conflicts, for example, between autonomy and safety, between recognizing the need for help but reluctance to accept it, or between living in the present and dealing with anxiety about and preparing for the future. As these were resolved and as the disease progressed, the attitudes of patients and carers towards dementia often became more balanced and accepting. Many patients and their families adopted strategies to cope with the impact of dementia on their lives in order to manage the disease and maintain some sort of normal life. These included practical strategies involving reminders, social strategies such as relying on family support, and emotional strategies such as using humor. At some point many patients and carers reported that they were able to adopt positive mindsets and incorporate dementia in their lives.
The studies also pointed to an urgent need for support from outside the family, both right after diagnosis and subsequently. General practitioners and family physicians have important roles in helping patients and carers to get access to information, social and psychological support, and community care. The need for information was reported to be ongoing and varied, and meeting it required a variety of sources and formats. Key needs for patients and carers mentioned in the studies include information on financial aids and entitlements early on, and continued access to supportive professionals and specialists.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Qualitative studies to date on how patients and carers respond to a diagnosis of dementia provide a fairly detailed picture of their experiences. The summary provided here should help professionals to understand better the challenges patients and carers face around the time of diagnosis as well as their immediate and evolving needs. The results also suggest that future research should focus on the development and evaluation of ways to meet those needs.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
Wikipedia has pages on dementia and qualitative research (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit)
Alzheimer Europe, an umbrella organization of 34 Alzheimer associations from 30 countries across Europe, has a page on the different approaches to research
The UK Department of Health has pages on dementia, including guidelines for carers of people with dementia
MedlinePlus also has information about dementia
PMCID: PMC3484131  PMID: 23118618
17.  Assessing the Need for Anesthesia and Sedation Services in Kuwaiti Dental Practice 
Anesthesia Progress  2010;57(3):91-95.
The objective of this study was to examine the public health relevance of the prevalence of dental fear in Kuwait and the resultant barrier that it creates regarding access to dental care. The study analysis demonstrated a high prevalence of dental fear and anxiety in the Kuwaiti population and a perceived need for anesthesia services by dental care providers. The telephone survey of the general population showed nearly 35% of respondents reported being somewhat nervous, very nervous, or terrified about going to the dentist. In addition, about 36% of the population postponed their dental treatment because of fear. Respondents showed a preference to receive sedation and anesthesia services as a means of anxiety relief, and they were willing to go to the dentist more often when such services were available. People with high fear and anxiety preferred to receive some type of medication to relieve their anxiety. In conclusion, the significance and importance of the need for anesthesia services to enhance the public health of dental patients in Kuwait has been demonstrated, and improvements are needed in anesthesia and sedation training of Kuwaiti dental care providers.
PMCID: PMC3315280  PMID: 20843223
Needs assessment; Sedation; Kuwait; Dental anesthesia; Anxiety
18.  Factors that limit access to dental care for adults with spinal cord injury 
This study investigated dental care service utilization among adults with spinal cord injury (SCI) and identified barriers and other factors affecting utilization among this population.
Respondents (n = 192) with SCI participated in an oral health survey assessing dental care service utilization and were compared with respondents from the 2004 Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System (BRFSS).
There was no significant difference in the proportion of SCI respondents who visited the dentist for any reason in the past year compared to the general population (65.5% vs. 68.8%, P = 0.350). However, SCI respondents were less likely to go to the dentist for a dental cleaning in the past year compared to the general population (54.6% vs. 69.4%, P < 0.001). The three most commonly reported barriers to accessing dental care were cost (40.1 %), physical barriers (22.9%), and dental fear (15.1%). Multivariable modeling showed physical barriers and fear of dental visits were the two significant factors deterring respondents from dental visits in the past year.
Physical barriers preventing access to dental facilities and dental fear are prevalent and significantly impede the delivery of dental health care to adults with SCI. Dentists should undertake necessary physical remodeling in their facilities to accommodate wheelchair users and implement appropriate strategies for the management of dental fear among patients with SCI.
PMCID: PMC2904989  PMID: 20618781
Dental care access; Physical barriers; Dental fear; Paraplegia; Tetraplegia
19.  An ethnographic study of Latino preschool children's oral health in rural California: Intersections among family, community, provider and regulatory sectors 
BMC Oral Health  2008;8:8.
Latino children experience a higher prevalence of caries than do children in any other racial/ethnic group in the US. This paper examines the intersections among four societal sectors or contexts of care which contribute to oral health disparities for low-income, preschool Latino1 children in rural California.
Findings are reported from an ethnographic investigation, conducted in 2005–2006, of family, community, professional/dental and policy/regulatory sectors or contexts of care that play central roles in creating or sustaining low income, rural children's poor oral health status. The study community of around 9,000 people, predominantly of Mexican-American origin, was located in California's agricultural Central Valley. Observations in homes, community facilities, and dental offices within the region were supplemented by in-depth interviews with 30 key informants (such as dental professionals, health educators, child welfare agents, clinic administrators and regulatory agents) and 47 primary caregivers (mothers) of children at least one of whom was under 6 years of age.
Caregivers did not always recognize visible signs of caries among their children, nor respond quickly unless children also complained of pain. Fluctuating seasonal eligibility for public health insurance intersected with limited community infrastructure and civic amenities, including lack of public transportation, to create difficulties in access to care. The non-fluoridated municipal water supply is not widely consumed because of fears about pesticide pollution. If the dentist brought children into the clinic for multiple visits, this caused the accompanying parent hardship and occasionally resulted in the loss of his or her job. Few general dentists had received specific training in how to handle young patients. Children's dental fear and poor provider-parent communication were exacerbated by a scarcity of dentists willing to serve rural low-income populations. Stringent state fiscal reimbursement policies further complicated the situation.
Several societal sectors or contexts of care significantly intersected to produce or sustain poor oral health care for children. Parental beliefs and practices, leading for example to delay in seeking care, were compounded by lack of key community or economic resources, and the organization and delivery of professional dental services. In the context of state-mandated policies and procedures, these all worked to militate against children receiving timely care that would considerably reduce oral health disparities among this highly disadvantaged population.
PMCID: PMC2362117  PMID: 18377660
20.  Is There Anything to Smile about? A Review of Oral Care for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 
Nursing Research and Practice  2012;2012:860692.
Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are at risk for dental disease and face substantial challenges in accessing both routine and preventive dental services. In terms of unmet needs it ranks third, following residential services and employment opportunities for this particular group of people. Poorer oral health status negatively impacts overall health and one's quality of life. Factors contributing to this problem include significantly higher rates of dental caries, periodontal disease, poor oral hygiene, low expectations, fear of treatment, and lack of awareness among individuals and carers. Additional factors include problems accessing dental care or denial of services because of inadequate education and clinical training, inappropriate bias, or inadequate levels of compensation to providers. Strategies to improve service delivery include individualized and coordinated care services, education of individuals, carers, and providers, including both classroom and clinical experiences with special needs patients in dental programs.
PMCID: PMC3317070  PMID: 22548164
21.  A survey of oral health in a Sudanese population 
BMC Oral Health  2012;12:5.
We aimed to assess the oral health status and risk factors for dental caries and periodontal disease among Sudanese adults resident in Khartoum State. To date, this information was not available to health policy planners in Sudan.
A descriptive population-based survey of Sudanese adults aged ≥ 16 years was conducted. After stratified sampling, 1,888 adult patients from public dental hospitals and dental health centres scattered across Khartoum State, including different ethnic groups present in Sudan, were examined in 2009-10. Data were collected using patient interviews and clinical examinations. Dental status was recorded using the DMFT index, community periodontal index (CPI), and a validated tooth wear index.
Caries prevalence was high, with 87.7% of teeth examined having untreated decay. Periodontal disease increased in extent and severity with age. For 25.8% of adults, tooth wear was mild; 8.7% had moderate and 1% severe toothwear. Multivariate analysis revealed that decay was less prevalent in older age groups but more prevalent in southern tribes and frequent problem based attenders; western tribes and people with dry mouths who presented with less than18 sound, untreated natural teeth (SUNT). Older age groups were more likely to present with tooth wear; increasing age and gender were associated with having periodontal pocketing ≥ 4 mm.
The prevalence of untreated caries and periodontal disease was high in this population. There appear to be some barriers to restorative dental care, with frequent use of dental extractions to treat caries and limited use of restorative dentistry. Implementation of population-based strategies tailored to the circumstances of Sudanese population is important to improve oral health status in Sudan.
PMCID: PMC3311612  PMID: 22364514
22.  Insights into the oral health beliefs and practices of mothers from a north London Orthodox Jewish community 
BMC Oral Health  2010;10:14.
The objective of this study was to explore oral health knowledge and beliefs and access to dental care in a culturally distinct Orthodox Jewish community in North London, with a view to informing local health policy.
A dual method qualitative approach to data collection was adopted in this study utilising semi-structured face to face interviews and focus groups with women from this North London orthodox Jewish community. In total nine interviews and four focus groups were conducted with a purposive sample of thirty three mothers from the community aged 21-58 years. The data were transcribed and analysed using Framework Methodology
Cultural influences, competing pressures and perceptions of hereditary influences, together with a lack of contemporary oral health knowledge are the main factors affecting oral health knowledge and beliefs. This supported an overall perspective of disempowerment or a perceived lack of control over oral health behaviours, both for mothers and their children. Community signposting pointed mothers to dental services, whilst family pressures together with inadequate capacity and capability and generic barriers such as fear and cost acted as barriers. Mothers from this community welcomed community development initiatives from the NHS.
The results of this study provide insight into the challenges of a culturally isolated community who would welcome community support through schools and expanded culturally appropriate opening hours to improve access to dental care.
PMCID: PMC2894741  PMID: 20529247
23.  The impact of frailty on oral care behavior of older people: a qualitative study 
BMC Oral Health  2013;13:61.
Frailty has been demonstrated to negatively influence dental service-use and oral self-care behavior of older people. The aim of this study was to explore how the type and level of frailty affect the dental service-use and oral self-care behavior of frail older people.
We conducted a qualitative study through 51 open interviews with elders of varying frailty in the East-Netherlands, and used a thematic analysis to code transcripts, discussions and reviews of the attributes and meaning of the themes to the point of consensus among the researchers.
Three major themes and five sub-themes emerged from our analyses. The major themes indicate that frail elders: A) favor long-established oral hygiene routines to sustain a sense of self-worth; B) discontinue oral hygiene routines when burdened by severe health complaints, in particular chronic pain, low morale and low energy; and C) experience psychological and social barriers to oral health care when institutionalized. The subthemes associated with the discontinuation of oral care suggest that the elders accept more oral pain or discomfort because they: B1) lack belief in the results of dental visits and tooth cleaning; B2) trivialize oral health and oral care in the general context of their impaired health and old age; and B3) consciously use their sparse energy for priorities other than oral healthcare. Institutionalized elderly often discontinue oral care because of C1) disorientation and C2) inconveniencing social supports.
The level and type of frailty influences people’s perspectives on oral health and related behaviors. Frail elders associate oral hygiene with self-worth, but readily abandon visits to a dentist unless they feel that a dentist can relieve specific problems. When interpreted according to the Motivational Theory of Life Span Development, discontinuation of oral care by frail elderly could be viewed as a manifestation of adaptive development. Simple measures aimed at recognizing indicators for poor oral care behavior, and providing appropriate information and support, are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3819177  PMID: 24175989
Aged; Oral health; Frailty; Oral hygiene; Dental care; Dental health services; Self-worth; Health behavior; Toothbrushing
24.  The vicious cycle of dental fear: exploring the interplay between oral health, service utilization and dental fear 
BMC Oral Health  2007;7:1.
Based on the hypothesis that a vicious cycle of dental fear exists, whereby the consequences of fear tend to maintain that fear, the relationship between dental fear, self-reported oral health status and the use of dental services was explored.
The study used a telephone interview survey with interviews predominantly conducted in 2002. A random sample of 6,112 Australian residents aged 16 years and over was selected from 13 strata across all States and Territories. Data were weighted across strata and by age and sex to obtain unbiased population estimates.
People with higher dental fear visited the dentist less often and indicated a longer expected time before visiting a dentist in the future. Higher dental fear was associated with greater perceived need for dental treatment, increased social impact of oral ill-health and worse self-rated oral health. Visiting patterns associated with higher dental fear were more likely to be symptom driven with dental visits more likely to be for a problem or for the relief of pain. All the relationships assumed by a vicious cycle of dental fear were significant. In all, 29.2% of people who were very afraid of going to the dentist had delayed dental visiting, poor oral health and symptom-driven treatment seeking compared to 11.6% of people with no dental fear.
Results are consistent with a hypothesised vicious cycle of dental fear whereby people with high dental fear are more likely to delay treatment, leading to more extensive dental problems and symptomatic visiting patterns which feed back into the maintenance or exacerbation of existing dental fear.
PMCID: PMC1784087  PMID: 17222356
25.  What Should Dental Services for People with Disabilities Be Like? Results of an Irish Delphi Panel Survey 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e113393.
This study aimed to generate prioritised goals for oral health services for people with disabilities as a first step in meeting the need for evidence based oral health services for people with disabilities in Ireland.
The study used a three round modified e-Delphi method, involving dental service professionals and people with disabilities or their representatives, in Ireland. Three rounds were completed online using SurveyMonkey. Round 1 asked: “List what you think dental services for people with disabilities in Ireland should be like.” Items for subsequent rounds were generated from responses to Round 1. Round 2 and Round 3 used 5 point Likert scales to rank these items by priority: from No Priority (1) to Top Priority (5). Consensus was achieved on each item where at least 80% of respondents considered an item either High or Top Priority. A consensus meeting concluded the process.
Sixty-one panelists started and 48 completed the survey. The Delphi panel agreed on level of priority for 69 items and generated 16 consensus statements. These statements covered a range of topics such as access to care, availability of information and training, quality of care, dental treatment and cost. A recurrent theme relating to the appropriateness of care to individual need arose across topics suggesting a need to match service delivery according to the individual's needs, wants and expectations rather than the disability type/diagnosis based service which predominates today.
This process produced a list of prioritised goals for dental services for people with disabilities. This creates a foundation for building evidence-based service models for people with disabilities in Ireland.
PMCID: PMC4242628  PMID: 25420015

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