December 2018

Volume 35, Issue 4

Illuminating Mexican migrant adolescents’ dental access and utilization experiences

Authors: MarkJason Cabudol Padideh Asgari Nannette Stamm Tracy L. Finlayson
doi: 10.1922/CDH_4255Cabudol07


Objective: To illuminate Mexican migrant adolescents’ dental access and utilization experiences. Research Design: Qualitative focus groups were conducted in English between July 2015 and March 2016 as part of a community-based participatory research project. Participants: Adolescents (n=61) aged 12-19 years, from Mexican migrant worker families, who sought healthcare services at a federally-qualified migrant health clinic in San Diego County, California. Method: Seven focus groups, with different sessions for 12-14, 15-16, and 17-19 year olds. Group size ranged from 4-14. Groups were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, then analyzed using content and general thematic analyses by two researchers using Dedoose qualitative analysis software. Analysis was guided by the Behavioral Model for Vulnerable Populations. Results: Multiple themes emerged: dental fear, difficulty with scheduling dental appointments, competing with family demands, family income and dental tourism, home remedies, lack of direct adolescent-provider communication, and negative dental visit experiences. Adolescents expressed high levels of dental fear and expressed negative dental visit experiences. Cost was a top barrier to care, despite most having dental insurance. Some described seeking dental services and braces in Mexico due to cost. Adolescents wanted providers to discuss their oral health and treatment needs with them directly as patients, rather than with their parents. Conclusion: Adolescents identified structural and communication barriers that impede access to dental care. Improved patient-provider communication may help build rapport, mitigate dental fear, and facilitate adolescents’ understanding of needed dental treatment and their oral health status. Dental providers may benefit from training to enhance culturally competent communication with Mexican migrant adolescents, and should discuss treatment plans with adolescent patients directly. Keywords: Adolescents, Oral Health, Dental Utilization, Access to Care, Dental Care, Qualitative, Migrant


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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