March 2017

Volume 34, Issue 1

The oral health of people with learning disabilities - a user-friendly questionnaire survey

Authors: J. Owens K. Jones Z. Marshman
doi: 10.1922/CDH_3867Owens04


Dental Public Health in Action Impetus for action: To conduct a user-friendly questionnaire survey of the oral health and service needs of adults with learning disabilities. Solution: Researchers collaborated with local self-advocacy services to develop a questionnaire adapted from one used in a regional postal survey. The questionnaire, which covered dental status, oral health and dental services use, was sent to a random sample of people from the learning disability case register. Outcome: Of 2,000 questionnaires mailed, 117 were returned undelivered and 625 were completed (response rate 31.3%). The self-reported dental status of people with learning disabilities appeared similar to that of the 2008 postal survey of the general population in Sheffield. The major difference in dental status was 11.5% of people with learning disabilities wore upper dentures and 7.2% wore lower dentures, compared to 21.2% and 12.1% of the general population in Sheffield. Challenges: Using the case register as a recruitment instrument may have excluded people with learning disabilities not registered. Time and finances only permitted one mailing. Analysis on the basis of deprivation could not be conducted. Future implications and learning points: Contrary to current practice, it is possible to include people with learning disabilities in oral health surveys. A multidisciplinary team was essential for enabling the progression and implementation of inclusive research and for people with learning disabilities and their supporters to engage meaningfully. This level of collaboration appears necessary if we are committed to ensuring that people with learning disabilities and their supporters are made visible to policy and decision-makers. Public Health Competencies being illustrated: oral health surveillance, dental public health intelligence, communication. Key words: learning disabilities, self-report, oral health, questionnaires, England

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Other articles in this issue

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Editorial 3-3 £10 single article
The oral health of people with learning disabilities - a user-friendly questionnaire survey 4-7 £10 single article
Sugar before bed: a simple dietary risk factor for caries experience 8-13 Download
Measuring oral health impact among care home residents in Wales 14-18 Download
Access to urgent dental care: a scoping review 19-26 £10 single article
Urinary fluoride excretion in preschool children after intake of fluoridated milk and use of fluoride-containing toothpaste 27-31 £10 single article
Directly observed daily mouth care provided to care home residents in one area of Kent, UK 32-36 Download
Association between sense of coherence and oral health-related quality of life among toddlers 37-40 £10 single article
Tobacco use in late adolescence among rural Sri Lankans 41-45 £10 single article
Dental caries experience among Albanian pre-school children: a national survey 46-49 £10 single article
A model for oral health gradients in children: using structural equation modeling 50-55 £10 single article
Using the simplified case mix tool (sCMT) to identify cost in special care dental services to support commissioning 56-59 £10 single article
Oral health and oral health behaviours of five-year-old children in the Charedi Orthodox Jewish Community in North London, UK 60-64 £10 single article


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