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Accessibility to oral health care for people on social assistance : a survey of social service providers from Public Welfare Centers in Flanders

Fee Verheire, Luc De Visschere (UGent) , Carla Fernandez (UGent) , Martijn Lambert (UGent) and Luc Marks (UGent)
(2018) INTERNATIONAL DENTAL JOURNAL. 68(6). p.393-404
Author
Organization
Abstract
Objectives: The goals of the present study were as follows: (i) to explore the characteristics of the Flemish Public Centers for Social Welfare (PCSW) concerning oral health care; (ii) to explore possible barriers experienced by people on social assistance and oral health-care providers; and (iii) to explore the accessibility of general and oral health care for people on social assistance. Methods: The data of this cross-sectional study were obtained by a survey of social service providers working in a PCSW. For this purpose, a new questionnaire was developed. The survey was validated by means of a pilot study. All 306 PCSWs in Flanders were invited to participate in this survey, of which 192 (62.7%) responded. Results: The findings demonstrate that for people on social assistance, financial limitations and low prioritisation of oral health are the main barriers to good oral health care. The study reveals that such individuals experience greater financial barriers and poorer access to a dentist than to a general medical practitioner. The study also reveals that dentists report financial concerns and administrative burdens as the main barriers in treating this subgroup. The responses of PCSWs demonstrate that local dentists are reluctant to treat this subgroup. Conclusion: Additional efforts are needed to improve the accessibility of oral health care for people on social assistance. Recommended improvements at the organisational level could improve increased education to target the population on the importance of oral health care. Administrative burden and financial concerns of the providers also need to be addressed to decrease their reluctance to work with those on social assistance.
Keywords
Oral health care for people on social assistance, oral health care for asylum seekers, oral health care for undocumented immigrants, DENTAL-CARE, INEQUALITY, EXPERIENCE

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MLA
Verheire, Fee, et al. “Accessibility to Oral Health Care for People on Social Assistance : A Survey of Social Service Providers from Public Welfare Centers in Flanders.” INTERNATIONAL DENTAL JOURNAL, vol. 68, no. 6, 2018, pp. 393–404.
APA
Verheire, F., De Visschere, L., Fernandez, C., Lambert, M., & Marks, L. (2018). Accessibility to oral health care for people on social assistance : a survey of social service providers from Public Welfare Centers in Flanders. INTERNATIONAL DENTAL JOURNAL, 68(6), 393–404.
Chicago author-date
Verheire, Fee, Luc De Visschere, Carla Fernandez, Martijn Lambert, and Luc Marks. 2018. “Accessibility to Oral Health Care for People on Social Assistance : A Survey of Social Service Providers from Public Welfare Centers in Flanders.” INTERNATIONAL DENTAL JOURNAL 68 (6): 393–404.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Verheire, Fee, Luc De Visschere, Carla Fernandez, Martijn Lambert, and Luc Marks. 2018. “Accessibility to Oral Health Care for People on Social Assistance : A Survey of Social Service Providers from Public Welfare Centers in Flanders.” INTERNATIONAL DENTAL JOURNAL 68 (6): 393–404.
Vancouver
1.
Verheire F, De Visschere L, Fernandez C, Lambert M, Marks L. Accessibility to oral health care for people on social assistance : a survey of social service providers from Public Welfare Centers in Flanders. INTERNATIONAL DENTAL JOURNAL. 2018;68(6):393–404.
IEEE
[1]
F. Verheire, L. De Visschere, C. Fernandez, M. Lambert, and L. Marks, “Accessibility to oral health care for people on social assistance : a survey of social service providers from Public Welfare Centers in Flanders,” INTERNATIONAL DENTAL JOURNAL, vol. 68, no. 6, pp. 393–404, 2018.
@article{8561970,
  abstract     = {Objectives: The goals of the present study were as follows: (i) to explore the characteristics of the Flemish Public Centers for Social Welfare (PCSW) concerning oral health care; (ii) to explore possible barriers experienced by people on social assistance and oral health-care providers; and (iii) to explore the accessibility of general and oral health care for people on social assistance.
Methods: The data of this cross-sectional study were obtained by a survey of social service providers working in a PCSW. For this purpose, a new questionnaire was developed. The survey was validated by means of a pilot study. All 306 PCSWs in Flanders were invited to participate in this survey, of which 192 (62.7%) responded.
Results: The findings demonstrate that for people on social assistance, financial limitations and low prioritisation of oral health are the main barriers to good oral health care. The study reveals that such individuals experience greater financial barriers and poorer access to a dentist than to a general medical practitioner. The study also reveals that dentists report financial concerns and administrative burdens as the main barriers in treating this subgroup. The responses of PCSWs demonstrate that local dentists are reluctant to treat this subgroup.
Conclusion: Additional efforts are needed to improve the accessibility of oral health care for people on social assistance. Recommended improvements at the organisational level could improve increased education to target the population on the importance of oral health care. Administrative burden and financial concerns of the providers also need to be addressed to decrease their reluctance to work with those on social assistance.},
  author       = {Verheire, Fee and De Visschere, Luc and Fernandez, Carla and Lambert, Martijn and Marks, Luc},
  issn         = {0020-6539},
  journal      = {INTERNATIONAL DENTAL JOURNAL},
  keywords     = {Oral health care for people on social assistance,oral health care for asylum seekers,oral health care for undocumented immigrants,DENTAL-CARE,INEQUALITY,EXPERIENCE},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {393--404},
  title        = {Accessibility to oral health care for people on social assistance : a survey of social service providers from Public Welfare Centers in Flanders},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/idj.12395},
  volume       = {68},
  year         = {2018},
}

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