March 2010

Volume 27, Issue 1

Barriers to restorative care as perceived by dental practitioners in Tanzania

Authors: E.N. Kikwilu J.E. Frencken J.R. Masalu J. Mulder
doi: 10.1922/CDH_2411Frencken06

Abstract

Objective To identify barriers to restorative care, as perceived by dental practitioners. Methods Of the total of 147 dental practitioners employed in regional and district government hospitals and municipal health centres, 138 completed a pre-tested questionnaire: a response rate of 94%. Factor analysis was performed to extract barrier factors. Chi-square test was used to test the influences of independent variables on discrete dependent variables, and ANOVA was used to test the influences of independent variables on continuous dependent variables. Results Knowledge of patients and beliefs of patients were perceived as the most important barriers. Others were financial, motivation of practitioners, dentistry looked down upon by administration and patients’ fear of noise from drill. Practitioners who worked in high and medium economic zones perceived patients’ fear of noise from drill as a barrier to restorative care more than their counterparts in low economic zones. Practitioners who worked in low economic zones perceived dentistry looked down upon by administration as a barrier to restorative care more than colleagues in high and medium economic zones. Conclusions Knowledge and beliefs of patients about restorative care were the two main factors that hindered restorative care, as perceived by dental practitioners in Tanzania. Organized information provision to the population and regular continuing education meetings for practitioners on restorative and preventive care, plus adoption of Atraumatic Restorative Treatment in daily clinical work are considered appropriate in addressing these barriers. Key words: Atraumatic Restorative Treatment, barriers to restorative care, developing country, practitioners’ perceptions, Tanzania.

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