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Non-dental primary care providersí views on challenges in providing oral health services and strategies to improve oral health in Australian rural and remote communities: a qualitative study

Citation

Barnett, AP and Hoang, H and Stuart, J and Crocombe, L, Non-dental primary care providers' views on challenges in providing oral health services and strategies to improve oral health in Australian rural and remote communities: a qualitative study, BMJ Open, 5 Article e009341. ISSN 2044-6055 (2015) [Refereed Article]


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Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

DOI: doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009341

Abstract

Objectives: To investigate the challenges of providing oral health advice/treatment as experienced by nondental primary care providers in rural and remote areas with no resident dentist, and their views on ways in which oral health and oral health services could be improved for their communities.

Design: Qualitative study with semistructured interviews and thematic analysis.

Setting: Four remote communities in outback Queensland, Australia.

Participants: 35 primary care providers who had experience in providing oral health advice to patients and four dental care providers who had provided oral health services to patients from the four communities.

Results: In the absence of a resident dentist, rural and remote residents did present to non-dental primary care providers with oral health problems such as toothache, abscess, oral/gum infection and sore mouth for treatment and advice. Themes emerged from the interview data around communication challenges and strategies to improve oral health. Although, non-dental care providers commonly advised patients to see a dentist, they rarely communicated with the dentist in the nearest regional town. Participants proposed that oral health could be improved by: enabling access to dental practitioners, educating communities on preventive oral healthcare, and building the skills and knowledge base of non-dental primary care providers in the field of oral health.

Conclusions: Prevention is a cornerstone to better oral health in rural and remote communities as well as in more urbanised communities. Strategies to improve the provision of dental services by either visiting or resident dental practitioners should include scope to provide community-based oral health promotion activities, and to engage more closely with other primary care service providers in these small communities.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:non-dental care providers, oral health services, strategies, challenges, rural
Research Division:Medical and Health Sciences
Research Group:Dentistry
Research Field:Dentistry not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health)
Objective Field:Rural Health
UTAS Author:Barnett, AP (Associate Professor Tony Barnett)
UTAS Author:Hoang, H (Dr Ha Hoang)
UTAS Author:Stuart, J (Dr Jacqueline Stuart)
UTAS Author:Crocombe, L (Associate Professor Leonard Crocombe)
ID Code:104138
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2015-11-03
Last Modified:2017-11-03
Downloads:274 View Download Statistics

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