September 2016

Volume 33, Issue 3

Understanding avoidance and non-attendance among adolescents in dental care - an integrative review

Authors: A. Fägerstad J. Windahl K. Arnrup
doi: 10.1922/CDH_3829Fägerstad13


Objective: To review articles exploring manifestations of avoidance of or non-attendance to dental care, to identify background and concomitant factors specifically associated with dental avoidance among adolescents. Methods: PubMed, CINAHL and PsychINFO were searched using MeSH terms and keywords covering dental avoidance, non-attendance and non-utilization. Searches were limited to peer-reviewed studies in English, published in 1994­–2014. Twenty-one research articles were included. Data were extracted, ordered, coded, categorized, and summarized according to the integrative review method. Results: The identified factors formed three common major themes: Environmental, Individual and Situational factors. Only seven studies, all from Sweden or Norway, investigated factors associated with dental avoidance. The remaining 14 studies were geographically widespread. Regarding avoidance, the main focus was found to be on individual and situational factors, while environmental factors were more often investigated for the outcome non-attendance. Conclusions: Although a wide variety of environmental, individual and situational factors could be summarized in this review, factors specifically associated with dental avoidance in a context of free dental care still need to be investigated. The possible impacts of cultural background, of tobacco, alcohol or drug use and of psycho-social circumstances deserve further research. Clinical implications of today’s knowledge may be to pay attention to the adolescents’ individual background and everyday life situation, to offer agreed and individualized treatment, taking fears and attitudes into consideration, to avoid painful treatments, and to be alert for early signs of avoidance. Key words: dental health services, health care utilization, adolescent, review


Other articles in this issue

Article Pages Access
Editorial: Selling a sugar tax: the sweet smell of success? 174-176 Download
The teaching of Dental Public Health – 50 years on 177-180 Download
The teaching of Dental Public Health and its relation to Children’s Dentistry 181-184 Download
Challenges identified in a pilot outreach dental service for Traveller children in Hackney, East London 185-188 Download
Lay public’s use of a support group for general dental problems 189-194 Download
Understanding avoidance and non-attendance among adolescents in dental care - an integrative review 195-207 Download
Variations in survival time for amalgam and resin composite restorations: a population based cohort analysis 208-212 Download
Impact of providing free preventive dental products without health workers’ counselling on infants’ tooth-brushing and bottle-feeding termination practices: a randomised controlled trial 213-217 Download
The dental public health implications of cosmetic dentistry: a scoping review of the literature 218-224 Download
Development of life story experience (LSE) scales for migrant dentists in Australia: a sequential qualitative-quantitative study 225-231 Download
Dental pain and its determinants in an adult population in Tehran, Iran, Urban HEART-2 232-236 Download


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