RESEARCH ARTICLE


Oral Health Knowledge, Behaviour, and Access to Dental Care in Visually Impaired Individuals in Jordan: A Case-Control Study



Sabha Alshatrat1, *
iD
, Isra AL Bakri1
iD
, Wael AL Omari2, 3
iD
, Abedelmalek Tabnjh1
iD

1 Department of Applied Dental Sciences, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan
2 Department of Prosthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan
3 Prosthetic and Restorative sciences Department, College of Dentistry, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


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Creative Commons License
© 2021 Alshatrat et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Applied Dental Sciences, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan; E-mail: smalshatrat@just.edu.jo


Abstract

Aim:

The study aimed to assess oral health knowledge, dental behaviors, and use of dental services in individuals with vision impairment in Jordan and identify barriers that affect their access to dental care in comparison with individuals without vision impairment.

Materials and Methods:

A case-control study was carried out among 399 parents/caregivers of individuals with vision impairment and individuals without vision impairment, which involved the completion of a self-designed questionnaire. A closed-ended, validated self-designed questionnaire was distributed. The questionnaire included questions addressing participants’ oral health knowledge, oral health behaviour, dental service use and barriers to accessing dental care. Data were analyzed using SPSS® software Version 22 with a 0.05 level of significance. A Chi-square test and contingency-table analysis were performed on the data.

Results:

Individuals with vision impairment in Jordan were significantly less knowledgeable about different oral health aspects than sighted counterparts. In addition, individuals with vision impairment used toothbrush, dental floss, and mouth rinse less frequently. They also visited dentists less regularly and mostly when only feeling pain. Limited access to dental services was observed among individuals with vision impairment compared to sighted individuals. Barriers, including embarrassment (22%), lack of knowledge of how to treat people with disabilities among dentists (12.5%), and inadequate facilities (13.7%), were significantly (P<0.05) more likely to be reported by visually impaired participants than the controls.

Conclusion:

Visually impaired individuals and their families should be given appropriate education about oral health care by oral health professionals to reduce the risk of having dental problems and oral disease and enhance their quality of life. Furthermore, recognizing the challenges in accessing dental care for this population could help oral health professionals to minimize these difficulties.

Keywords: Oral health knowledge, Vision impairment, Access to care, Chi-square test, Self-designed questionnaire, Cronbach’s alpha.