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Homeless adults: Dental care access outside of captital cities in Australia


Goode, J and Hoang, Ha and Crocombe, L, Homeless adults: Dental care access outside of captital cities in Australia, IADR/AADR/CADR General Session & Exhibition, 19-22 June, Vancouver, Canada (2019) [Conference Extract]

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Objectives: In Australia, the oral health of adults experiencing homelessness is poor and they face multiple barriers to making dental visits. Having annual dental check-ups leads to improved oral health outcomes. Most programs designed to reduce barriers and enable dental visiting for homeless adults are capital-city based. There is a paucity of information about the barriers faced by non-capital-city based homeless adults. Programs facilitating dental visiting are designed in close collaboration with homelessness-support organisations. This study explored the perceptions of a non-capital-city based homelessness and housing support organisationís staff towards the barriers and enablers of dental care existing for their clients.

Methods: A qualitative approach using a focus group method and qualitative content analysis was employed. The study was based in a regional city in Victoria, Australia. Barriers and enablers of care, identified in a systematic literature review, were discussed during three focus group meetings by staff from the cityís homelessness and housing support organisation. A topic guide was used, focus groups were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using qualitative content analysis. A narrative description of common themes was written.

Results: Six themes relating to barriers emerged; the organisation of government-funded dental services, multiple competing needs, the cost of care, the fear of being judged, anxiety and managing appointments. Themes relating to perceived enablers of care were; outreach dental services, Priority Access Cards (PACs) and co-locating health services. Information about accessing dental services could be delivered by support staff at an appropriate time.

Conclusions: Barriers to dental care that exist in capital-cities also existed in a non-capital city area of Victoria, Australia. The organisation of government-funded dental services was a barrier to care. Outreach services allowing drop-in visits, PACs and collocated health services were perceived as being enablers of access to care.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:rural, homeless, dental care
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Dentistry
Research Field:Dentistry not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Rural and remote area health
UTAS Author:Goode, J (Dr Jacqueline Goode)
UTAS Author:Hoang, Ha (Dr Ha Hoang)
UTAS Author:Crocombe, L (Associate Professor Leonard Crocombe)
ID Code:133834
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2019-07-11
Last Modified:2019-07-11
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