December 2018

Volume 35, Issue 4

Why might patients in the UK consult a general medical practitioner when experiencing dental problems? A literature review of patients’ perspectives

Authors: Cope A.L. Butt K. G. Chestnutt I. G.
doi: 10.1922/CDH_4369Cope06


Objective: to systematically appraise and synthesise the existing evidence regarding the reasons why patients in the UK may consult a general medical practitioner (GMP) when experiencing a dental problem. Basic research design: a systematic review of the scientific and grey literature published between 1996 and 2017. Participants: dental service users (adults or children) from the UK and/or their carers who were seeking, or had sought, care for a dental problem from a GMP. Main outcomes: patients’ perspectives on reasons for consulting a GMP were qualitatively synthesised according to Levesque et al.’s conceptual framework of access to health care. Results: Out of 1,232 references screened, 2 studies met the inclusion criteria for the review. They identified the following factors that can influence care-seeking for dental problems: patients’ interpretation of their symptoms; their understanding of practitioners’ scope of practice; the availability of timely dental care; and the affordability of care. Both studies had weaknesses with regard to either their conduct and/ or reporting. Conclusions: Choice of practitioner for dental problems is likely to be influenced by both the beliefs and attitudes of the individual patient and the organisation and attributes of the providers of dental and medical care. However, in light of the quality of the existing evidence base, there is a need for high-quality studies exploring the reasons why patients in the UK may seek care from a GMP when experiencing dental problems. Keywords: health services, dental care, health behaviour, health services accessibility, review


Other articles in this issue

Article Pages Access
Editorial: Public Health at Christmas 195-196 Download
Dental Public Health in Action: Understanding oral health care needs and oral health-related quality of life in vulnerable adults in Plymouth 197-200 Download
Dental Public Health in Action: A feasibility study to explore the governance processes required for linkage between dental epidermiological, and birth cohort, data in the UK 201-203 Download
Illuminating Mexican migrant adolescents’ dental access and utilization experiences 204-210 Download
Results of a two year dental health education program to reduce dental caries in young Aboriginal children in New South Wales, Australia 211-216 Download
A multi-variable analysis of four factors affecting caries levels among five-year-old children; deprivation, ethnicity, exposure to fluoridated water and geographic region 217-222 Download
The impact of age and deprivation on NHS payment claims for domiciliary dental care in England 223-227 Download
A critical review of protocols for conventional microwave oven use for denture disinfection 228-234 Download
Why might patients in the UK consult a general medical practitioner when experiencing dental problems? A literature review of patients’ perspectives 235-240 Download
The distribution of dental health specialist locations in Sri Lanka 241-246 Download
Decision tree analysis for factors associated with dental caries in school-aged children in Japan 247-251 Download
Dentist’s views on incorporating oral health collaborative practice into primary medical care in Ireland 252-256 Download


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