General dentists’ attitudes and perceived barriers in providing domiciliary dental care to older adults in long-term care facilities or their homes in Northern Ireland: a descriptive qualitative study

Emma Kerr, Sinead Watson, Julie McMullan, Murali Srinivasan, Gerry McKenna

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Many older patients, housebound or living in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) have limited access to dental care. This descriptive qualitative study aimed to understand general dental practitioners (GDPs) attitudes and perceived barriers to undertaking Domiciliary Dental Care (DDC) for those patients.
Methods: Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 12 GDPs in Northern Ireland. Interviews were digitally-recorded and transcribed verbatim. An iterative coding process using theme-analytic methods was used.
Results: The data was characterised into four major themes – remuneration for GDPs undertaking DDC, risk of professional litigation, complexity of treatment, and the overall framework of the dental care system in NI. Two minor themes identified were practice culture and reasons for undertaking DDC.
The GDPs in the study identified a number of barriers to undertaking DDC including a legal requirement to transport oxygen, lack of organisation and limited oral hygiene care provision in LTCFs, and confusion around their responsibilities for provision of DDC. Those GDPs who were providing DDC indicated that they did so out of kindness and a sense of loyalty to their long-standing patients.
Conclusions: The GDPs in this study identified a number of significant barriers to provision of DDC including limited remuneration. The GDPs indicated that they required clarification of their responsibilities around DDC with clear guidelines necessary given the increase in demand for this service.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Publication statusAccepted - 05 Feb 2021
EventIrish Division of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) Annual Scientific Meeting -
Duration: 05 Feb 202105 Feb 2021

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