Author Details :
Volume : 7, Issue : 1, Year : 2021
Article Page : 20-28
Background: The utilization of dental services among older people is an important parameter in health service planning. Studies show that the utilization of dental services among older people in India is low.
This study aims to explore the barriers in the utilization of dental services among older people.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was done on 399 older people to examine the barriers in the utilization of dental services among the older population, who are defined as people aged 60 years and above, in South Kerala. Circular systemic random sampling was used to recruit the sample from the district of Kollam in Kerala. All the study participants, as defined by the inclusion criteria were considered for the study.
Results: The mean age of the study population was 65.3±5.5 (n=399). The main barrier that prevented older people from utilizing oral health care was their adaptation to the present health situation 343(86), followed by perceived high expense 309(77.4). The frequency of previous dental visits among participants was highest in the past year 129(33.4). More than half of the participants 244(61) had visited a dentist to extract their teeth and only 7(1.7) had visited the dentist for their routine dental check-ups. A 206(51.4) participants had visited a private clinic to receive dental care and 70(17.7) had visited a government facility to take dental care. The main reasons for visiting a particular centre among the participants were accessibility 168(42.2), and the least reported reason was the familiarity of the dentist 32(8).
Conclusion: To minimize the barriers to utilization of dental services and to address the health needs of the increasing older population, the health system needs to be strengthened especially the primary health care centres with the need to integrate oral health programs and emphasis on health promotion.
Keywords: Utilisation of dental services, Barriers, Dental diseases, Oral health, Dental caries, Dental visit, Older people.
How to cite : Salim R , Ramankutty V, Barriers in utilisation of dental services among older people in South Kerala. Int J Oral Health Dent 2021;7(1):20-28
Copyright © 2021 by author(s) and Int J Oral Health Dent. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (creativecommons.org)
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