Older Patients’ Views of Oral Health Care and Factors which Facilitate or Obstruct Regular Access to Dental Care-Services: A Qualitative Systematic Review

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  • Alexander R. Legge
  • Jos M. Latour
  • Mona Nasser


Objectives: Describe independently living older peoples’ views of oral-health, and their experiences of accessing dental care-services
within community settings. Methods: Dentistry and Oral-Sciences Source, CINAHL, MEDLINE and AMED databases were searched
to 15 January 2020. Assessment of methodological quality was undertaken using the JBI Critical Appraisal Checklist. Extracted data underwent meta-aggregative synthesis; findings were assigned levels of credibility and categorised according to similarity. These categories
were subsequently synthesised into themes. Results: Five studies were identified and included within analysis. Forty-six findings were
aggregated into 18 descriptive categories, which were synthesised into five themes. These themes were Aggregated oral health experience;
Taking responsibility for individual oral health; Practical issues related to accessing dental services; Negotiation of cost associated with
care and Role of the dental professional. Conclusions: Previous dental healthcare experiences influence older peoples’ health perceptions
and health-seeking behaviours. Dental service provision and the perceptions of dental professionals require adaptation to accommodate the
needs of adults as they age. This includes provision of domiciliary services and nationally subsidised dental care.
Keywords: aged, dental care, health services accessibility

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