Unmet needs for dental care in children with special health care needs

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Objective: The unmet need for dental care is one of the greatest public health problems facing U.S. children. This issue is particularly concerning for children with special health care needs (CSHCN), who experience higher prevalence of unmet dental care needs. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate regional differences in unmet dental care needs for CSHCN. Using the Social Ecological Model as a framework, additional variables were analyzed for regional differences. It was hypothesized that (H1) unmet dental care needs would be high in the CSHCN population, (H2) there would be regional differences in unmet dental care needs in CSHCN, and (H3) there would be differences in specific individual, interpersonal (family), community (state), and policy level factors by region. Methods: Data were obtained from the 2009-2010 National Survey of CSHCN. SPSS was used for data management and analysis. Results: Each of the study hypotheses was supported for the sample of 40,242 CSHCN. The West region was more likely to have more unmet needs for preventive and specialized dental care in CSHCN than the reference region (Northeast). The South region followed the West region in unmet dental care needs. Statistically significant differences in individual, interpersonal (family), community (state) and policy factors were found by region. Conclusion: Further research is recommended. Effective strategies that include policy to address unmet dental care needs at multiple levels of intervention are suggested.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Paschal AM; Wilroy JD; Hawley SR
  • Start Page

  • 62
  • End Page

  • 67
  • Volume

  • 3