Perception of oral health needs by Southeast Iowa non-dental health care providers


N 331 Dental Science Building, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242


The purposes of this dental study were to identify, among non-dental health care providers and administrators, (1) those reasons assessed to be most persuasive in adopting selected dental preventive practices, (2) barriers perceived to be present for their clients to obtain dental services, and (3) practices which would make dental services more available to their clients. A nine-item dental care/attitude survey was completed by 82% (n = 68) of the health care and social services providers/administrators attending one of the United Way of East Central Iowa group meetings. The results of this survey indicated that, for these respondents, the most persuasive reasons for adopting preventive dental practice behaviors were based on susceptibility to disease and social and esthetic benefits. Further, the results of this survey showed that female respondents gave significantly higher scores than males to the importance of social benefits (self-worth and employment marketability), health benefits, and the importance that authority figures (dentists and physicians) placed on the behavior. Fifty-one percent of the respondents knew of patients who had problems obtaining dental services. The main reasons given for clients' access problems were the lack of money, the lack of insurance, and the lack of transportation.