Investigation of the oral health needs for homeless people in specialist units in London, Cardiff, Glasgow and Birmingham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

AimThe aim was to assess the oral health needs of homeless people in dedicated homeless dental units in London, Cardiff and Glasgow and a homeless shelter in Birmingham in order to allow recommendations for service delivery to be made for this socially excluded group.MethodologyTwo questionnaires were designed, one to be completed by homeless people and the other by members of the dental team. A total of seventeen staff working in homeless dentistry completed questionnaires. Of these, nine were dentists, seven were nurses and one was a therapist. Twenty-seven homeless adults took part in interview. Of these, 22 were under active treatment at a homeless dental clinic and the remaining five were from the Birmingham homeless shelter who were not receiving dental care.Results and ConclusionThis study found evidence that the oral health of homeless adults was poor, with a high level of dental need. The service use of homeless people is low, with low levels of registration and utilisation of accident and emergency services. In terms of the most suitable method of dental treatment, staff felt a dedicated homeless service was most appropriate, whereas there was almost an equal split of patients advocating the General Dental Service or the dedicated dental clinics.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalPrimary Health Care Research & Development
Volume12
Issue number2
Early online date28 Oct 2010
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011