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Oral health and access to dental care : a qualitative investigation among older people in the community
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by L Slack-Smith, A Lange, G Paley, M O'Grady, D French, Leonie Short
Objective: The aim of this study was to explore older persons’ beliefs and attitudes towards oral health and access to and use of dental care services. Background: As the proportion of dentate older people increases, the need and demand for dental services will rise (J Public Health Dent, 60, 2000, 276). Design: Focus groups and semi-structured interviews were used for data collection. Setting and subjects: The study participants included 63 older people in Perth, WA. Results: Five major themes emerged from the interviews – the need for information and knowledge; accessibility of services; cost and affordability of oral care; fear and anxiety regarding dental visits and relationships with dentists. Attitudes and behaviours were slow to change in this group. Conclusion: This investigation provided important perspectives regarding oral health and dental access for older people residing in the community and demonstrated the importance of understanding this group when considering provision and use of services.