Dental Service Utilization: Patterns and Barriers among Rural Elderly in Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh ZC43-ZC47
Dr. Vikram Simha Bommireddy,
Flat No. 103, Nandi Arcade, Plot No.55/3rt, S.R Nagar, Hyderabad, Telangana State-500038, India.
Introduction: The biological process of ageing is outside human control and has its own dynamics. It is a known fact that elderly people have more treatment needs compared to the younger population and at the same time elderly people are facing a multitude of barriers in utilization of health care as well as oral health care.
Aim: To identify the utilization patterns of oral health care and barriers for utilization among rural population.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was done on 621 rural elderly subjects to identify the utilization of oral health care services and the barriers for utilization. Using stratified cluster sampling study area was stratified into 13 rural clusters, fifty houses were randomly selected from each stratum. All the elderly subjects, as defined by the age criteria were considered for study. The data were analysed using SPSS 20 v and Chi-square tests were used to analyse the data.
Results: Only 31.9% of participants reported visiting a dentist in the past while 36.7% reported experiencing a dental problem at some point in their life. There were no significant differences in utilization of dental services based on gender, socio-economic status, age groups and religion. However, significant differences were found in utilization of dental services based on the response of participants to past experience of dental problems.
Conclusion: The present study results conclude that fear was one of the most commonly reported barriers for utilisation of dental services and there is a need for oral health education and promotion among elderly population.