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Perceptions and knowledge of caregivers about oral health care for special care patients

Author: 
Marwah S. Almarwan, Faika Y. Abdelmegid and Fouad S. Salama
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Purpose: The purpose of this survey was to assess the perceptions and knowledge of caregivers who provide oral health care for persons with special needs (PSN) and person with medical conditions (PMC) with regards to the persons with special needs and medical conditions overall oral health care and the factors that affect provision of such care. Methods: This 33 items item survey consisted of questions to determine the perception and knowledge of the parent/caregivers with regards to the overall oral health care of PSN and PMC. Two-hundred and thirteen parent/caregivers for PSN and PMC and currently treated at King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh participated in this study. This survey included information such as gender, age and number of years helping PSN and PMC. Responses to the questionnaire were tabulated and percent/frequency distributions for responses to each item were analyzed. Results: The tested knowledge of parents/caregivers was moderate but the majority rated their knowledge as minimal (41.78%) and moderate (35.21%). There was correlation between the gender of caregivers and their self-rating knowledge of oral health care of PSN and PMC (p=0.0012). No correlation between how long a parent/caregiver has been helping PSN and PMC and their self-rating knowledge (P=0.09). There was no correlation of the medical conditions and tested knowledge of caregivers of oral health care of the PSN and PMC (p=0.15). Person's behavior and the level of person’s disability/disease were reported as the major reasons why it is difficult to provide care for them. Conclusions: The knowledge of parents/caregivers was moderate and most individuals who care for PSN and PMC have no formal or informal training and rated their knowledge as minimal. Reported barriers to care should be addressed by continuing education and further training.

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