Objectives: This study aimed to explore the preferences for dental services for elders living at home and dependent on care, and to identify potential differences between the Swiss-German and Swiss-French regions of Switzerland. Methods: Study received ethics approval (2017- 00488). Discrete choice experiments (DCEs) were conducted to measure the preferences for dental examination and treatment, defined by two attributes: type of professional and location of the activity. Independently living elders were invited to participate in focus groups to state their preferences if one day they became dependent. Hypothetical choices with regards to the selected attributes were displayed in a projected visual presentation. Participants’ noted their personal preferences using a response sheet. Data were analyzed using conditional logistic regression models. Results: Ninety-two participants (Bern: n=51, Geneva: n=41, age=73.7±6.6 years) participated in the project, 89 completed the experiments. The “family dentist” was the preferred health care professional to undertake “examinations” both, in Bern and in Geneva, with a “family medical practice” being the preferred “location” for care delivery in Bern, whereas a “specialty clinic” was preferred in Geneva. For the “treatment of teeth”, respondents’ preference was for care delivered by a “specialist dentist”. In Geneva, the preferred location for care was the “specialist setting”, whilst in Bern it was the “family dental practice”. There was no difference in preference between treatment by a “specialist dentist” and a “family dentist” (p=0.25). There was a difference observed in preferences between treatments delivered in a “family dental practice” or a “specialist setting” compared with “treatment at home”, the latter ranking least favorably (p<0.001). Conclusions: Swiss language regions seem to little influence treatment preferences. Access to dental services in locations other than the patients’ home should be prioritized for dependent older adults.
Chebib, N., Abou-ayash, S., Maniewicz, S., Srinivasan, M., Hill, H., Schimmel, M., McKenna, G., Brocklehurst, P., & Muller, F. (Accepted/In press). Preferences of Future Dependent Swiss Elders For Dental Services. Journal of Dental Research.