ObjectiveThe aim of this study was to investigate to what extent dentists in the Netherlands experience barriers in providing oral health care to community-dwelling older people.
BackgroundAs most publications on the barriers in providing oral health care to older people consist of surveys on oral health care in care homes, it was decided to investigate the barriers dentists experience in their own dental practices while providing oral health care to community-dwelling frail older people.
Material and methodsA representative sample of 1592 of the approximately 8000 dentists in the Netherlands aged 64 or younger were invited to respond to a questionnaire online. The dentists were asked to respond to 15 opinions concerning oral healthcare provision to community-dwelling frail older people aged 75years or more who experience problems in physical, psychological and social areas, as well as possible financial problems.
ResultsThe total response rate was 37% (n=595; male=76%; average age 49). The majority of those who responded agreed that the reimbursement of oral health care to older people is poor. Two thirds of those who responded (66%) agreed that there are limited opportunities to refer the frail and elderly with complex oral healthcare problems to a colleague with specific knowledge and skills.
ConclusionDentists experienced barriers in two domains; a lack of knowledge and practical circumstances. It was concluded that the dentist's gender, age, year of graduation and the number of patients aged 75years or more treated weekly were in some respect, related to the barriers encountered.
- oral health care
- RESPONSE RATES
- DENTAL EDUCATION