Background: Social and health supports provided during young adulthood can have long lasting health implications. Racial and ethnic minorities will soon comprise the majority of this population in the US and are more likely to experience poverty with poor access to health services. Oral health has been identified as a health disparity for young adults in the general population as well as those living with HIV (YALWH). Identifying and addressing barriers to oral healthcare are important for the long-term improvement of overall health outcomes for YALWH.
Methods: This mixed methods cross-sectional study includes: 1) an in-person quantitative survey and a semi-structured qualitative interview of YALWH between the ages of 17 and 25 years of age, 2) an online and in person survey of general and pediatric dentists and clinical dental hygienists and 3) a focus group with dental clinic support staff of a hospital based dental clinic.
Results: YALWH expressed the importance of oral health in their lives; a clean mouth and straight white teeth impacts how they judge others and, they assume, how others judge them. Barriers to care identified across all study groups included dental insurance, HIV disclosure and dental fear.
Conclusions: Oral healthcare for YALWH can be affected by individual and systemic factors including provider communication skills, provider knowledge of HIV, limitations of healthcare delivery systems and the expectations of the individual patient. These factors are important considerations for health policy makers and oral health professionals in their efforts to address oral health disparities for YALWH.
|School:||Teachers College, Columbia University|
|Department:||Health and Behavior Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-B 76/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Behavioral psychology, Environmental Health, Health care management|
|Keywords:||Cultural competence, HIV, Health policy, Oral health, Social determinants, Young adults|
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