Irish dental practitioners perceived barriers to the care of patients with special healthcare needs and the effect of postgraduate training
Stephen Hancocks Ltd
Inequalities in oral healthcare service provision to people with special health needs have been reported in the Republic of Ireland. These include higher unmet dental treatment needs and longer waiting period to access routine dental treatment than the general population. Aim: The aims of this study were to determine the groups of patients with special needs which pose a challenge to manage in the dental surgery and to examine perceived barriers to the care of these patients. We aimed to determine whether postgraduate training in the management of these patients increases the practitioners’ frequency of treatment and their desire for further training in this area. Methods: A questionnaire was used to survey 326 randomly selected dentists from the Dental Council’s register of dentists. Questionnaire and information sheets explaining the purpose of the survey, confidentiality and anonymity of the responses were posted to the dentists. Results: The results showed that children with intellectual disability posed the biggest challenge for dentists to manage in the dental surgery. Behaviour management issues and the degree of disability were perceived by many dentists as factors that would have high effects on their willingness to treat patients with special needs. Dentists who have postgraduate training in the management of patients with special needs were significantly more willing to treat these patients and to seek additional training in the future. Conclusion: There are links between the training and the willingness of practitioners to undertake dental treatment or patients with special healthcare needs.
Special care dentistry , Ireland
Jimoh K. and Kinirons M. (2014) 'Irish dental practitioners perceived barriers to the care of patients with special healthcare needs and the effect of postgraduate training', Journal of Disability and Oral Health, 15(4), pp. 142-147. doi: 10.4483/JDOH_Jimoh05
© 2014, Stephen Hancocks Ltd