Barriers to Access to Dental Treatment for People with Physical Disabilities in a Brazilian Metropolis

Gabriela Mancia de Gutierrez, Michele Baffi Diniz, Bárbara Favero Araújo Lima, Karen Krzyzanovski dos Santos, Maria Teresa Botti Rodrigues Santos

Abstract


Objective: To evaluate the barriers for accessing dental care for people with physical disabilities. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study with 191 caregivers of individuals with physical disabilities attending a rehabilitation center in São Paulo, who responded to a questionnaire about information related to barriers (user, caregiver, government and professional) found in dental treatment, visit to the dentist and age of the first dental appointment. Data were collected from medical records regarding age, sex, family income and medical diagnosis of patients. Statistical analysis was performed using the MedCalc for Windows software version 12.3.0. The Chi-square test was applied for heterogeneity, with significance level of 5%. Results: The main barriers identified by caregivers (p<0.0001) were patient fear/anxiety (66.8%), patient requiring accompaniment to access treatment (87.4%), treatment costs (82.7%), lack of treatment at primary health care units (73.3%) and professionals not specialized in dental care for people with physical disabilities (67.0%). It was observed that caregivers of individuals with cerebral palsy reported greater physical barriers for accessing dental treatment compared to caregivers of other diagnoses (p=0.0307). Conclusion: Individuals with physical disabilities face financial constraints, fear of dental treatment, lack of treatment options in public services and, perhaps most importantly, lack of qualified professionals interested in treating such individuals.


Keywords


Dental Care for Disabled; Health Services Accessibility; Oral Health.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4034/PBOCI.2018.181.95

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