142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Oral Health Care in the LGBT Population: Access, Perceptions, Barriers & Potential Solutions

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 2:45 PM - 3:00 PM

William Allan Jacobson , Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Background: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) individuals in addition to having the same basic health care needs as the general population, face health disparities. Poor oral health leads to a multitude of negative effects in an individual’s quality of life.  The literature on the oral health of sexual minority communities is sparse. Objectives: This study investigated access to dental care for LGBT people, the actual and perceived barriers for their dental care, and potential solutions to improve their access to dental care. Methods: The questionnaire was administered at five locations in North East Ohio to 355 subjects. Results: Among the participants, 315 (88.48%) self-identified as LGBT or other sexual minority status. The LGBT participants visited the dentist slightly more often (65.8% vs. 61.6%), than the general population. Nearly 8.0% of the study subjects had experienced discrimination in dental offices. Lack of finances was the primary barrier for not seeking dental care among LGBT.  A majority of LGBT subjects preferred a dentist to be knowledgeable of STIs, HIV/AIDS, and to be trained in the needs of the LGBT community. Transgender subjects were especially vulnerable when compared to LGB: less dental visits and being discriminated by the dentist. Conclusion: Primary reason for the LGBT population not seeking dental care was financial. Study participants preferred a dentist to be an ally of the LGBT community. Efforts should be made to include LGBT cultural sensitivity and oral manifestations of STIs and HIV/AIDS in dental school curriculum.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Compare the percent of dental visits by the general US population to the percent of dental visits by the LGBT population in North East Ohio. Identify the primary barrier to dental care by LGBT in North East Ohio. List the unique reasons why the Transgender population was seeking dental care the least. List potential solutions for LGBT accessing dental care.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I developed ideas for this research topic, literature review and as well as the hypothesis; got approval for my project from the MPH department at my school, developed a questionnaire, had it approved by MetroHealth’s IRB, contacted five locations to request permission to administer my questionnaire, administered the questionnaire to 355 participants, coded and entered data, interpreted the results, and completed an essay relating to the outcomes of my 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.