Evidence summary: what do we know from qualitative research about people's care-seeking about oral health?

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Abstract

Since August 2009, members of the Primary Care Dentistry Research Forum (http://www.dentistryresearch.org) have taken part in an online vote to identify questions in day-to-day practice that they felt most needed to be answered with conclusive research. The question which receives the most votes each month forms the subject of a critical appraisal of the relevant literature. Each month a new round of voting takes place to decide which further questions will be reviewed. Dental practitioners and dental care professionals are encouraged to take part in the voting and submit their own questions to be included in the vote by joining the website.

The paper below details a summary of the findings of the ninth critical appraisal. In conclusion, the critical appraisal showed a wide range of factors that infl uence care-seeking about oral health. These included both barriers and triggers to care-seeking. Only five papers were found that provided relevant data, and their data collection settings varied widely. Further research into care-seeking about oral health would be useful for both policy makers and practitioners in understanding patients' needs.

Key Points

  • Care-seeking: patients trying to obtain care/advice/treatment from a health professional/service.

  • Patient acceptance of healthcare: the seeking and acceptance by patients of health services.

  • Qualitative research: research that derives data from observation, interviews, or verbal interactions and focuses on meanings and interpretations of the participants.

  • Oral health: the optimal state of the mouth and normal functioning of the organs of the mouth without evidence of disease.

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Arianne Matlin, British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 8YS info@dentistryresearch.org; Tel: +44 (0)20 7563 4583 Sponsored by the Shirley Glasstone Hughes Trust

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