242130 Oral health and access to care among persons with a disability

Monday, October 31, 2011: 8:30 AM

Elizabeth A. Courtney-Long, MA, MSPH , NCBDDD/Division of Human Development and Disability, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Brian S. Armour, PhD , NCBDDD/DHDD/Disability and Health Team, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Alissa Cyrus, MPH , Ncbddd, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Introduction: Poor oral health can be associated with additional health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Persons with a disability (PWD) have been shown to report greater unmet oral health needs compared to persons without a disability (PWOD). This study examines reasons for lack of access to dental care as well as perceptions of dental health among PWD. Methods: Data from the 2008 National Health Interview Survey were used to determine level of oral health care, oral health self-perception and reasons for lack of access to care by disability status. Results: The prevalence of disability ranged from 3.1% (cognitive limitation) to 21.2% (movement difficulty), with 33.0% of all adults reporting any limitation. PWD were more than twice as likely as PWOD to report that the condition of their mouth was not as good as other people their age (26.1% vs. 11.5%). While PWD were less likely to have seen a dentist in the previous 12 months compared to PWOD (51.7% vs. 64.5%), the prevalence varied by type, with those with emotional limitation least likely to have seen a dentist (39.2%). PWD were more likely than PWOD to report lack of transportation (5.2% vs. 1.0%) or lack of affordability (47.1% vs. 31.4%) as reasons for not seeking dental care. Conclusion: PWD report lower self-perceived oral health, as well as higher frequencies of resource dependent reasons that they did not seek needed care when compared to PWOD. PWD must be explicitly included in efforts to improve access to oral health care.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. To assess the self-perception of oral health by type of disability 2. To describe the limitations experienced by people with disabilities in seeking oral health care.

Keywords: Oral Health, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I conducted the background research and completed the statistical analysis for this project
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.