Access to and Satisfaction with Oral Health Care from the Perspective of Pediatric Cancer Patients and Their Caregivers

Tamires ' Vieira Carneiro, Isabella Lima Arrais Ribeiro, Eufrásio de Andrade Lima Neto, Ana Maria Gondim Valença


Objective: To investigate the access to dental care and the oral health care provided to cancer patients aged zero to 19 years old; to detect possible difficulties hindering the delivery of oral health care; and to identify the main oral complications associated with anticancer treatment. Material and Methods: Interviews were conducted with 84 children and adolescents (or their caregivers) who were treated at Napoleão Laureano Hospital, João Pessoa County, Paraíba, Brazil; the interviews were recorded in audio files. The data were analyzed based on systematic reading of the interviews according to the content analysis technique. Results: Six categories were established: Access to health care services, which was reported as posing difficulties by only 16.6% of the sample; Access to the hospital, considering that 40.4% of the participants reported traveling to the hospital in cars provided by the city government; Dental care, which was procured at basic health units (BHUs) by 52.3% of the participants; Conceptions on oral health care, in which 64.2% of the participants mentioned cariogenic diets and/or poor oral hygiene; Quality of life perception, whereby 70.2% of the interviewees reported to be satisfied or very satisfied and 63.0% rated their quality of life good or very good; and Health problems derived from treatment, with nausea being the most mentioned (27.2%). Conclusion: The patients did not meet difficulties in the procurement of dental care, which was most often sought at BHUs; they were satisfied or very satisfied with their health and rated their quality of life as good or very good.

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