oralpresentation
Description

Title: 0483 - Homeless Adults: Dental Care Access Outside Capital Cities in Australia

Authors:

Jacki Goode (Presenter)
University of Tasmania

Ha Hoang, University of Tasmania
Leonard Crocombe, University of Tasmania

Abstract:

Objectives:
In Australia, the oral health of adults experiencing homelessness is poor and they face multiple barriers to making dental visits. Having annual dental check-ups leads to improved oral health outcomes. Most programs designed to reduce barriers and enable dental visiting for homeless adults are capital-city based. There is a paucity of information about the barriers faced by non-capital-city based homeless adults. Programs facilitating dental visiting are designed in close collaboration with homelessness-support organisations. This study explored the perceptions of a non-capital-city based homelessness and housing support organisation’s staff towards the barriers and enablers of dental care existing for their clients.

Methods:
A qualitative approach using a focus group method and qualitative content analysis was employed. The study was based in a regional city in Victoria, Australia. Barriers and enablers of care, identified in a systematic literature review, were discussed during three focus group meetings by staff from the city’s homelessness and housing support organisation. A topic guide was used, focus groups were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using qualitative content analysis. A narrative description of common themes was written.

Results:

Six themes relating to barriers emerged; the organisation of government-funded dental services, multiple competing needs, the cost of care, the fear of being judged, anxiety and managing appointments. Themes relating to perceived enablers of care were; outreach dental services, Priority Access Cards (PACs) and co-locating health services. Information about accessing dental services could be delivered by support staff at an appropriate time.

Conclusions:
Barriers to dental care that exist in capital-cities also existed in a non-capital city area of Victoria, Australia. The organisation of government-funded dental services was a barrier to care. Outreach services allowing drop-in visits, PACs and collocated health services were perceived as being enablers of access to care.

Student Presenter

Disclosure Statement:
The submitter must disclose the names of the organizations with which any author have a relationship, the nature of the relationship, and the clinical or research area involved. The following is submitted: None

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