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Title: An investigation of the barriers faced by older people when accessing dental services in a rural community in north east England
Authors: Devapal, Lucy
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The proportion of older people within the UK population is increasing. This is a diverse group from varying socioeconomic backgrounds and who also exhibit a broad spectrum of dependence. The planning and provision of appropriate oral healthcare should be an important consideration for decision makers for this growing sector of society. This research was carried out in two phrases; the first phase was used to explore the beliefs, values and priorities of older people regarding their oral health and it also examined the barriers faced by older people when accessing dental care services in a rural setting. The second phase investigated low health care professionals involved in providing care for older people viewed local dental services and it looked more closely at how older people use dental services in a rural setting. Using information gathered throughout the study the aim was to develop strategies to improve the oral health of over 65s where necessary. The research highlighted the importance of oral health related quality of life for older people. Barriers such as cost and difficulties with travelling, particularly within a rural setting, were raised, however, older people often found ways of coping with these. Emotional barriers and the impact of the life course were more difficult to overcome and greatly influenced current dental visiting habits. Older people placed importance on trust, professionalism and building up a relationship with their dentist. Local health care service providers also highlighted the close relationships built up with patients in these small communities. However, their work was often constrained by current NHS policy; they are bound by rules and regulations which restricted their practice. Commissioning dental services for older people in a rural setting is challenging. Services should be based on the needs of this group and in order to be effective good linkage between services is necessary.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Dental Sciences

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