This paper presents the results of a case study about the perceptions of oral health care, factors that influenced current oral health, and barriers to dental attention of two older adults; the study was conducted by researchers from a hospital-school of dentistry at a public university in Mexico. Two adults aged 64 and 70 years participated in this study. First, the oral health status was clinically evaluated using the Decayed/Missing/Filled/Teeth (DMFT) Index. A semi-structured interview was then conducted to learn about the perceptions of oral health care. Thematic content analysis was used to explore the data obtained using the ATLAS.ti software 7.0 version. Four main themes and their subthemes were developed. The main finding of the case study was that oral health was directly and strongly associated with the impact that it has on a participant's life, especially in the functional field of chewing. Also, the participants recognized the importance of having good oral health and see it as a necessity for living. Aspects that influenced the current status of oral health were mainly the care received during their childhood, as well as the previous dental beliefs and treatments. Finally, some of the perceived barriers to dental care treatment were lack of time, finances, and education. These findings challenge professionals to be more sensitive to past and current experiences of older adults at the time of receiving dental care. Knowing their perceptions can support health professionals to strengthen patients’ commitment to prioritizing oral health care needs.
oral health, perception, older adults, case study
The authors would like to express their gratitude and recognition to the Coordination from the Master in Gerontology from the Universidad de Guadalajara for all the support given and to the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) for the scholarship given.
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Recommended APA Citation
Hernández-Santos, D., & Díaz-García, I. (2021). Perceptions of Two Older Adults Regarding the Factors and Barriers that Influence their Oral Health Care: A Case Study. The Qualitative Report, 26(1), 246-261. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2021.4321