PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-25 (640845)

Clipboard (0)
None

Related Articles

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.  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.
Background
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.
Conclusions
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
Background
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 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001410.
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
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001410
PMCID: PMC3608543  PMID: 23555201
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.
Objectives
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.  Dental pain, oral impacts and perceived need for dental treatment in Tanzanian school students: a cross-sectional study 
Background
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.
Objectives
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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).
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1477-7525-7-73
PMCID: PMC2726126  PMID: 19643004
5.  Use of the out-of-hours emergency dental service at two south-east London hospitals 
BMC Oral Health  2009;9:19.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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%).
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-9-19
PMCID: PMC2729730  PMID: 19630986
6.  Oral Health Care Reform in Finland – aiming to reduce inequity in care provision 
BMC Oral Health  2008;8:3.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-8-3
PMCID: PMC2268684  PMID: 18226197
7.  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.
Background
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.
Conclusions
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
Background
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 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001331.
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
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001331
PMCID: PMC3484131  PMID: 23118618
8.  Perceived Barriers Affecting Access to Preventive Dental Services: Application of DEMATEL Method 
Background
Identifying perceived access barriers to preventive dental services is one of the basic steps to improve the public health.
Objectives
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.5812/ircmj.11810
PMCID: PMC3918188  PMID: 24578831
Public Health; Dental Care; Hospital Dental Services
9.  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.
doi:10.1007/s11524-011-9555-8
PMCID: PMC3157507  PMID: 21850607
Oral health; Older adults; Access to care
10.  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.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-8-8
PMCID: PMC2362117  PMID: 18377660
11.  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
12.  Perceived dental treatment need among older Tanzanian adults – a cross-sectional study 
BMC Oral Health  2007;7:9.
Background
Need perceptions for dental care play a key role as to whether people in general will seek dental care. The aim was to assess the prevalence of perceived need of problem based dental care, dental check-ups and any type of dental care. Guided by the conceptual model of Wilson and Cleary, the relationship of perceived need for dental care with socio-demographic characteristics, clinically defined dental problems and self-reported oral health outcomes was investigated. Partial prosthetic treatment need was estimated using a socio-dental approach.
Method
A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Pwani region and in Dar es Salaam in 2004/2005. Information from interviews and clinical examination became available for 511 urban and 520 rural adults (mean age 62.9 yr).
Results
51.7% (95% CI 46.2, 57.0) urban and 62.5 % (95% CI 53.1, 70.9) rural inhabitants confirmed need for dental check-up, 42.9% (95% CI 36.9, 48.9) urban and 52.7% (95% CI 44.5, 60.6) rural subjects confirmed need for problem oriented care and 38.4% (95% CI 32.4, 44.6) urban versus 49.6% (95% CI 41.8, 57.4) rural residents reported need for any type of dental care. Binary and ordinal multiple logistic regression analyses revealed that adults who reported bad oral health and broken teeth were more likely to perceive need for dental care across the three outcome measures than their counterparts. Socio-demographic factors and clinically defined problems had less impact. Based on a normative and an integrated socio-dental approach respectively 39.5% and 4.7% were in need for partial dentures.
Conclusion
About half of the participants confirmed need for problem oriented care, dental check-ups and any type of dental care. Need perceptions were influenced by perceived oral health, clinically assessed oral problems and socio-demographic characteristics. Need estimates for partial denture was higher when based on clinical examination alone compared to an integrative socio-dental approach.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-7-9
PMCID: PMC1939845  PMID: 17625014
13.  A survey of oral health in a Sudanese population 
BMC Oral Health  2012;12:5.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-12-5
PMCID: PMC3311612  PMID: 22364514
14.  The impact of frailty on oral care behavior of older people: a qualitative study 
BMC Oral Health  2013;13:61.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-13-61
PMCID: PMC3819177  PMID: 24175989
Aged; Oral health; Frailty; Oral hygiene; Dental care; Dental health services; Self-worth; Health behavior; Toothbrushing
15.  An Intergenerational Approach to Oral Health Promotion: Pregnancy and Utilization of Dental Services 
Purpose
Dental services during pregnancy can improve maternal oral health, reduce mother-child transmission of cariogenic bacteria, and create opportunities for anticipatory guidance. This study aimed to understand why low-income women did or did not utilize dental services in a pilot program to promote dental visits during pregnancy in Klamath County, Oregon.
Methods
Sixty women were contacted and 51 participated in semi-structured telephone interviews regarding utilization of dental services during pregnancy. Women were selected randomly from the pilot program: 45 women (88%) utilized dental services and six did not. Transcripts were content analyzed using a mixed method qualitative approach - grounded theory and Stages of Change model - to identify themes and sub-themes.
Results
Most women overcame stress or dentally-related barriers to use care. Stressors included poor domestic relationships, personal finances, and employment. Dentally-related factors included perception of dental experience, attitude toward dental providers, importance/valuing of oral health, perceived ability to pay for care, time constraints, dental providers’ and office staff attitudes toward clients.
Conclusions
Identifying barriers that prevent low-income women from taking action to access dental care during pregnancy provides information essential for enhancing public-private health programs to promote dental visits, reduce mother-child transmission, and provide guidance to new mothers.
PMCID: PMC2891449  PMID: 19341579
Oral Health Disparities; Dental Services; Utilization; Pregnancy; Medicaid
16.  First Diagnosis and Management of Incontinence in Older People with and without Dementia in Primary Care: A Cohort Study Using The Health Improvement Network Primary Care Database 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(8):e1001505.
Robert Grant and colleagues used the British THIN primary care database to determine rates of first diagnosis of urinary and faecal incontinence among people aged 60–89 with dementia compared with those without dementia, and the use of medication or indwelling catheters for urinary incontinence in those with and without dementia.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Dementia is one of the most disabling and burdensome diseases. Incontinence in people with dementia is distressing, adds to carer burden, and influences decisions to relocate people to care homes. Successful and safe management of incontinence in people with dementia presents additional challenges. The aim of this study was to investigate the rates of first diagnosis in primary care of urinary and faecal incontinence among people aged 60–89 with dementia, and the use of medication or indwelling catheters for urinary incontinence.
Methods and Findings
We extracted data on 54,816 people aged 60–89 with dementia and an age-gender stratified sample of 205,795 people without dementia from 2001 to 2010 from The Health Improvement Network (THIN), a United Kingdom primary care database. THIN includes data on patients and primary care consultations but does not identify care home residents. Rate ratios were adjusted for age, sex, and co-morbidity using multilevel Poisson regression.
The rates of first diagnosis per 1,000 person-years at risk (95% confidence interval) for urinary incontinence in the dementia cohort, among men and women, respectively, were 42.3 (40.9–43.8) and 33.5 (32.6–34.5). In the non-dementia cohort, the rates were 19.8 (19.4–20.3) and 18.6 (18.2–18.9). The rates of first diagnosis for faecal incontinence in the dementia cohort were 11.1 (10.4–11.9) and 10.1 (9.6–10.6). In the non-dementia cohort, the rates were 3.1 (2.9–3.3) and 3.6 (3.5–3.8).
The adjusted rate ratio for first diagnosis of urinary incontinence was 3.2 (2.7–3.7) in men and 2.7 (2.3–3.2) in women, and for faecal incontinence was 6.0 (5.1–7.0) in men and 4.5 (3.8–5.2) in women. The adjusted rate ratio for pharmacological treatment of urinary incontinence was 2.2 (1.4–3.7) for both genders, and for indwelling urinary catheters was 1.6 (1.3–1.9) in men and 2.3 (1.9–2.8) in women.
Conclusions
Compared with those without a dementia diagnosis, those with a dementia diagnosis have approximately three times the rate of diagnosis of urinary incontinence, and more than four times the rate of faecal incontinence, in UK primary care. The clinical management of urinary incontinence in people with dementia with medication and particularly the increased use of catheters is concerning and requires further investigation.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Globally, more than 35 million people have dementia, brain disorders that are characterized by an irreversible decline in cognitive functions such as language and memory. Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia mainly affect older people and, because people are living longer than ever, experts estimate that by 2050 more than 115 million people will have dementia. The earliest sign of dementia is usually increasing forgetfulness but, as the disease progresses, people gradually lose their ability to deal with normal daily activities such as dressing, they may become anxious or aggressive, and they may lose control of their bladder (urinary incontinence), bowels (bowel or fecal incontinence), and other physical functions. As a result, people with dementia require increasing amounts of care as the disease progresses. Relatives and other unpaid carers provide much of this care—two-thirds of people with dementia are cared for at home. However, many people with dementia end their days in a care or nursing home.
Why Was This Study Done?
Incontinence in people with dementia is distressing for the person with dementia and for their carers and often influences decisions to move individuals into care homes. However, little is known about the diagnosis and treatment of urinary and/or fecal incontinence among people with dementia living at home. This information is needed to help policymakers commission the services required for this section of society and insurers recognize the needs such patients have, as well as helping to raise clinicians' awareness of the issue. In this cohort study (an investigation that compares outcomes in groups of people with different characteristics), the researchers use data routinely collected from general practices (primary care) in the UK to determine the rate of first diagnosis of urinary and fecal incontinence in elderly patients with and without dementia and to find out whether a diagnosis of dementia affects the rate of use of drugs or of indwelling urinary catheters (tubes inserted into the bladder to drain urine from the body) for the treatment of urinary incontinence.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers extracted data collected between 2001 and 2010 on incontinence for nearly 55,000 people aged 60–89 with a diagnosis of dementia (the dementia cohort) and for more than 200,000 individuals without a diagnosis of dementia (the non-dementia cohort) from The Health Improvement Network (THIN) primary care database, which includes anonymized consultation records from nearly 500 UK general practices. In the dementia cohort, the rates of first diagnosis of urinary incontinence were 42.3 and 33.5 per 1,000 person-years at risk among men and women, respectively. In the non-dementia cohort, the corresponding rates were 19.8 and 18.6. The rates of first diagnosis of fecal incontinence were 11.1 and 10.1 in the dementia cohort, and 3.1 and 3.6 in the non-dementia cohort among men and women, respectively. After adjusting for age, sex and other diseases, the adjusted rate ratio for the first diagnosis of urinary incontinence in people with dementia compared to people without dementia was 3.2 in men and 2.7 in women; for fecal incontinence, it was 6.0 in men and 4.5 in women; the adjusted rate ratio was 2.2 for both men and women for drug treatment of urinary incontinence and 1.6 in men and 2.3 in women for use of indwelling urinary catheters.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that, in primary care in the UK, dementia is associated with a three-fold higher rate of diagnosis of urinary incontinence and a greater than four-fold higher rate of diagnosis of fecal incontinence. Moreover, the authors suggest that some aspects of clinical management of urinary continence vary between people with and without dementia. In particular, the use of indwelling urinary catheters appears to be more common among people with dementia than among people without dementia, increasing the risk of infection. Thus, health care practitioners providing care for people with dementia may be prioritizing ease of management over risk avoidance, a possibility that requires further investigation. Although the accuracy of these findings is limited by certain aspects of the study design (for example, the THIN database does not identify which patients are living in care homes), they nevertheless suggest that policymakers and insurers involved in planning and providing services for people with dementia living at home need to provide high levels of help with incontinence, including the provision of advice and support for carers.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001505.
The UK not-for-profit organization Alzheimers Society provides information for patients and carers about dementia, including information on coping with incontinence and personal stories about living with dementia
The US not-for-profit organization Alzheimers Association also provides information for patients and carers about dementia and about incontinence, and personal stories about dementia
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information (including personal stories) about dementia, urinary incontinence, and bowel incontinence
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources about dementia, urinary incontinence and fecal incontinence (in English and Spanish)
The International Continence Society and the International Consultation on Urological Diseases provide independent advice on products to manage incontinence
More information about the THIN database is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001505
PMCID: PMC3754889  PMID: 24015113
17.  Insights into the oral health beliefs and practices of mothers from a north London Orthodox Jewish community 
BMC Oral Health  2010;10:14.
Background
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.
Methods
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
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-10-14
PMCID: PMC2894741  PMID: 20529247
18.  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.
doi:10.4103/0976-9668.116972
PMCID: PMC3783767  PMID: 24082719
Access; awareness; dental care; India; utilization
19.  Epidemiological Pathology of Dementia: Attributable-Risks at Death in the Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Ageing Study 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(11):e1000180.
Researchers from the Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Ageing Neuropathology Study carry out an analysis of brain pathologies contributing to dementia, within a cohort of elderly individuals in the UK who agreed to brain donation.
Background
Dementia drug development aims to modulate pathological processes that cause clinical syndromes. Population data (epidemiological neuropathology) will help to model and predict the potential impact of such therapies on dementia burden in older people. Presently this can only be explored through post mortem findings. We report the attributable risks (ARs) for dementia at death for common age-related degenerative and vascular pathologies, and other factors, in the MRC Cognitive Function and Ageing Study (MRC CFAS).
Methods and Findings
A multicentre, prospective, longitudinal study of older people in the UK was linked to a brain donation programme. Neuropathology of 456 consecutive brain donations assessed degenerative and vascular pathologies. Logistic regression modelling, with bootstrapping and sensitivity analyses, was used to estimate AR at death for dementia for specific pathologies and other factors. The main contributors to AR at death for dementia in MRC CFAS were age (18%), small brain (12%), neocortical neuritic plaques (8%) and neurofibrillary tangles (11%), small vessel disease (12%), multiple vascular pathologies (9%), and hippocampal atrophy (10%). Other significant factors include cerebral amyloid angiopathy (7%) and Lewy bodies (3%).
Conclusions
Such AR estimates cannot be derived from the living population; rather they estimate the relative contribution of specific pathologies to dementia at death. We found that multiple pathologies determine the overall burden of dementia. The impact of therapy targeted to a specific pathology may be profound when the dementia is relatively “pure,” but may be less impressive for the majority with mixed disease, and in terms of the population. These data justify a range of strategies, and combination therapies, to combat the degenerative and vascular determinants of cognitive decline and dementia.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Losing one's belongings and forgetting people's names is often a normal part of aging. But increasing forgetfulness can also be a sign of dementia, a group of symptoms caused by several disorders that affect the structure of the brain. The commonest form of dementia is Alzheimer disease. In this, protein clumps called plaques and neurofibrillary tangles form in the brain and cause its degeneration. Vascular dementia, in which problems with blood circulation deprive parts of the brain of oxygen, is also common. People with dementia have problems with two or more “cognitive” functions—thinking, language, memory, understanding, and judgment. As the disease progresses, they gradually lose their ability to deal with normal daily activities until they need total care, their personality often changes, and they may become agitated or aggressive. Dementia is rare before the age of 65 years but about a quarter of people over 85 years old have dementia. Because more people live to a ripe old age these days, the number of people with dementia is increasing. According to the latest estimates, about 35 million people now have dementia and by 2050, 115 million may have the disorder.
Why Was This Study Done?
There is no cure for dementia but many drugs designed to modulate specific abnormal (pathological) changes in the brain that can cause the symptoms of dementia are being developed. To assess the likely impact of these potentially expensive new therapies, experts need to know what proportion of dementia is associated with each type of brain pathology. Although some brain changes can be detected in living brains with techniques such as computed tomography brain scans, most brain changes can only be studied in brains taken from people after death (post mortem brains). In this study, which is part of the UK Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Ageing Study (MRC CFAS), the researchers look for associations between dementia in elderly people and pathological changes in their post mortem brains and estimate the attributable-risk (AR) for dementia at death associated with specific pathological features in the brain. That is, they estimate the proportion of dementia directly attributable to each type of pathology.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Nearly 20 years ago, the MRC CFAS interviewed more than 18,000 people aged 65 years or older recruited at six sites in England and Wales to determine their cognitive function and their ability to deal with daily activities. 20% of the participants, which included people with and without cognitive impairment, were then assessed in more detail and invited to donate their brains for post mortem examination. As of 2004, 456 individuals had donated their brains. The dementia status of these donors was established using data from their assessment interviews and death certificates, and from interviews with relatives and carers, and their brains were carefully examined for abnormal changes. The researchers then used statistical methods to estimate the AR for dementia at death associated with various abnormal brain changes. The main contributors to AR for dementia at death included age (18% of dementia at death was attributable to this factor), plaques (8%), and neurofibrillary tangles (11%) in a brain region called the neocortex, small blood vessel disease (12%), and multiple abnormal changes in blood vessels (9%).
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that multiple abnormal brain changes determine the overall burden of dementia. Importantly, they also suggest that dementia is often associated with mixed pathological changes—many people with dementia had brain changes consistent with both Alzheimer disease and vascular dementia. Because people with dementia live for variable lengths of time during which the abnormal changes in their brain are likely to alter, it may be difficult to extrapolate these findings to living populations of elderly people. Furthermore, only a small percentage of the MRC CFAS participants have donated their brains so the findings of this study may not apply to the general population. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that the new therapies currently under development may do little to reduce the overall burden of dementia because most people's dementia involves multiple pathologies. Consequently, it may be necessary to develop a range of strategies and combination therapies to deal with the ongoing dementia epidemic.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000180.
The US National Institute on Aging provides information for patients and carers about forgetfulness and about Alzheimer disease (in English and Spanish)
The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides information about dementia (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices Web site also provides detailed information for patients and their carers about dementia and about Alzheimer disease
MedlinePlus provides links to additional resources about dementia and Alzheimer disease (in English and Spanish)
More information about the UK Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Ageing Study (MRC CFAS) is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000180
PMCID: PMC2765638  PMID: 19901977
20.  Towards age-friendly societies: from research to policy, from policy to society 
In order to promote the concept that old age is a dynamic stage of one’s life and that it should be regarded as an achievement—and not a disaster—for both, individuals and for societies, the World Health Organization launched in 2002 the Active Ageing Policy Framework in which Active Ageing is defined as “the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age”.
Active ageing depends on a variety of influences or determinants that surround individuals, families and nations. They include material conditions as well as social factors that affect individual types of behaviour and feelings. All of these factors, and the interactions between them, play an important role in affecting how well individuals age. These determinants—namely: personal; physical environment; social; economic; behavioural and; access to health and social services within a background that emphasizes the importance of the cross-cutting influences of culture and gender—have to be understood from a life course perspective that recognizes that older persons are not a homogeneous group and that individual diversity increases with age.
Because active ageing is a lifelong process an age-friendly approach is not just ‘elderly friendly’: it benefits all age groups. From theory to practice the translation of the Active Ageing Framework required ways to demonstrate its applicability on the ground. Accordingly, WHO embarked on two parallel projects which will be described in detail at the Bridging Knowledge Conference:
1. Age friendly Primary Health Care (PHC)
The ultimate aim of health and social services should be that individuals can live for as long as possible enjoying the highest possible level of functional capacity for the longest possible period of time in their own communities. For that to happen it is essential to re-think the way Primary Health Care is conceived and delivered worldwide. Population ageing is happening within a background of rapid social change, a shift from infectious to chronic diseases and rising health care costs. Yet PHC is by and large not responding to these trends. In response to this, WHO developed over a period of five years a project involving 14 countries focused on how to make Primary Health Care Centres more age friendly. The ultimate aim of this project, developed over three consecutive stages, was to make available worldwide a toolkit on how to make a PHC facility more responsive to ageing. Its specific objectives were: to minimize the barriers to care; to promote age friendly attitudes and services; to ensure comprehensiveness of community based health care services; to increase geriatric knowledge and skills of community-based health care staff and; to support coordination and linkages with other community-based groups, services, and family.
2. Age friendly cities
The WHO age-friendly cities global project (AFC-GP) was launched in 2005. In March 2006 a core group of cities met in Vancouver to finalize the project protocol and within the next few months WHO and its partners from 33 cities from 22 countries implemented the qualitative research that led to the WHO Age friendly Cities Guide launched in 1 October 2007.
This project was conceived within the context of three major global trends shaping the 21st century: ageing; urbanization and globalization. The world is ageing fast, is increasingly more urbanized and more than ever before boundaries are becoming blurred, the world more globalized. It is also a practical application of the main call from the International Plan of Action of Ageing agreed by all nations at the World Assembly on Ageing, Madrid 2002 requesting ‘bottom up approaches’. Thus, the project is based on qualitative research asking older people themselves to identify the issues, concerns and recommendations for improving the environment in which they live around eight main domains: 1. outdoor spaces and buildings; 2. transportation; 3. housing; 4. social participation; 5. respect and social inclusion; 6. civic participation and employment; 7. communication and information; and 8. community support and health services.
Details of both projects can be found on: http://www.who.int/ageing/en
PMCID: PMC2707547
age-friendly programmes; ageing; research; policy
21.  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
22.  Factors that limit access to dental care for adults with spinal cord injury 
Purpose
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.
Methods
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).
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1111/j.1754-4505.2010.00146.x
PMCID: PMC2904989  PMID: 20618781
Dental care access; Physical barriers; Dental fear; Paraplegia; Tetraplegia
23.  Effects of case management in community aged care on client and carer outcomes: a systematic review of randomized trials and comparative observational studies 
Background
Case management has been applied in community aged care to meet frail older people’s holistic needs and promote cost-effectiveness. This systematic review aims to evaluate the effects of case management in community aged care on client and carer outcomes.
Methods
We searched Web of Science, Scopus, Medline, CINAHL (EBSCO) and PsycINFO (CSA) from inception to 2011 July. Inclusion criteria were: no restriction on date, English language, community-dwelling older people and/or carers, case management in community aged care, published in refereed journals, randomized control trials (RCTs) or comparative observational studies, examining client or carer outcomes. Quality of studies was assessed by using such indicators as quality control, randomization, comparability, follow-up rate, dropout, blinding assessors, and intention-to-treat analysis. Two reviewers independently screened potentially relevant studies, extracted information and assessed study quality. A narrative summary of findings were presented.
Results
Ten RCTs and five comparative observational studies were identified. One RCT was rated high quality. Client outcomes included mortality (7 studies), physical or cognitive functioning (6 studies), medical conditions (2 studies), behavioral problems (2 studies) , unmet service needs (3 studies), psychological health or well-being (7 studies) , and satisfaction with care (4 studies), while carer outcomes included stress or burden (6 studies), satisfaction with care (2 studies), psychological health or well-being (5 studies), and social consequences (such as social support and relationships with clients) (2 studies). Five of the seven studies reported that case management in community aged care interventions significantly improved psychological health or well-being in the intervention group, while all the three studies consistently reported fewer unmet service needs among the intervention participants. In contrast, available studies reported mixed results regarding client physical or cognitive functioning and carer stress or burden. There was also limited evidence indicating significant effects of the interventions on the other client and carer outcomes as described above.
Conclusions
Available evidence showed that case management in community aged care can improve client psychological health or well-being and unmet service needs. Future studies should investigate what specific components of case management are crucial in improving clients and their carers’ outcomes.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-395
PMCID: PMC3508812  PMID: 23151143
Case management; Community aged care; Effects; Systematic review
24.  Oral healthcare of preschool children in Trinidad: a qualitative study of parents and caregivers 
BMC Oral Health  2012;12:27.
Background
Little is known about oral health in early childhood in the West Indies or the views and experiences of caregivers about preventive oral care and dental attendance The aims of this study were to explore and understand parents and caregivers’ experience of oral healthcare for their preschool aged children and how, within their own social context, this may have shaped their oral health attitudes and behaviours. These data can be used to inform oral health promotion strategies for this age group.
Method
After ethical approval, a qualitative study was undertaken using a focus group approach with a purposive sample of parents and caregivers of preschool children in central Trinidad.
Group discussions were initiated by use of a topic guide. Audio recording and field notes from the three focus groups, with a total of 18 participants, were transcribed and analysed using a thematic approach.
Results
Despite some ambivalence toward the importance of the primary teeth, the role of fluoride and confusion about when to take a child for their first dental visit, most participants understood the need to ensure good oral hygiene and dietary habits for their child. Problems expressed included, overcoming their own negative experiences of dentistry, which along with finding affordable and suitable dental clinics, affected their attitude to taking their child for a dental visit. There was difficulty in establishing good brushing routines and controlling sweet snacking in the face of many other responsibilities at home. Lack of availability of paediatric dental services locally and information on oral health care were also highlighted. Many expressed a need for more contact with dental professionals in non-clinic settings, for oral health care advice and guidance.
Conclusion
Parents and caregivers in this qualitative study showed generally positive attitudes towards oral health but appear to have encountered several barriers and challenges to achieving ideal preventive care for their child, with respect to healthy diet, good oral hygiene and dental attendance. Oral health promotion should include effective dissemination of oral health information, more practical health advice and greater access to dental care for families with preschool children.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-12-27
PMCID: PMC3567990  PMID: 22862892
Preschool children; Oral health; Parents; Caregivers; Qualitative; Focus groups; West Indies
25.  HIV/AIDS-related attitudes and oral impacts on daily performances: a cross-sectional study of Sudanese adult dental patients 
Background
Few studies have investigated the relationships between HIV-related knowledge, fear of contagion in dental environments and Oral Impacts on Daily Performance (OIDP) among dental patients. Our objectives were to investigate the associations between HIV-related knowledge and fear of contagion in dental environments and OIDP among dental patients, and to evaluate whether those associations were modified by the frequency of dental service attendance.
Methods
A total of 1262 patients (mean age 30.7 years, 56.5% females) were recruited from the Khartoum Dental Teaching Hospital and the University of Science and Technology during March–July 2008. The participants underwent a full-mouth oral clinical examination and completed an interview in a face-to-face setting.
Results
Of the study participants, 41.4% had visited a dentist at least twice during the last 2 years, 96.2% had caries experience (DT > 0) and 79.1% reported oral impacts (OIDP > 0). The most frequently reported oral impacts were problems eating, sleeping and cleaning teeth. In total, 26.3% of the participants had HIV transmission knowledge, 75.6% knew people with HIV/AIDS and 58.7% perceived a high risk of cross-infection in dental environments. After adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, frequency of dental service attendance and caries experience, patients who had high HIV-related information exposure, a positive attitude toward people with HIV/AIDS and a high perceived risk of cross-infection were more likely to report oral impacts, whereas patients who knew people with HIV/AIDS were less likely to report oral impacts. The association between OIDP and HIV transmission knowledge was modified by frequency of dental service attendance.
Conclusions
Dental patients who were informed about HIV and had a high HIV/AIDS risk perception were more likely to report impaired oral health-related quality of life than their less informed counterparts and those who perceived a low risk of contagion. The effect of HIV transmission knowledge on oral impacts was influenced by frequency of dental service attendance.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-335
PMCID: PMC3765642  PMID: 23971974
HIV; AIDS; Attitudes; Oral impacts on daily performance; Dental; Sudan

Results 1-25 (640845)